There was nothing wrong with my first batch of corn toasties back in August. Well, nothing major, anyway. My slightly savory variation on the Cooks.com original as presented on Kat's blog was fine enough, but I found that what turned out to be my favorite aspect--the sweet crispy browned bits you got when toasting them--wasn't best served by my changes.
So I've gone back to the original and this time I'm playing around with texture hoping to make it both lighter and crunchier. To the first end, I'm increasing the baking powder from 1 1/2 teaspoons to a full 2. The rule of thumb is one teaspoon of baking powder to lift one cup of flour and one cup of liquid so this recipe can handle the extra. Also, the acidity of the honey I added first time may have interfered with the powder's chemical reaction reducing lift so going back to straight sugar should help as well.
I also adjusted the mixing to more fully follow the muffin method to avoid toughening it up with gluten.
As for the crunchiness, well it got a bit complicated. Here's the full recipe:
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup white sugar
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup corn meal
1/4 cup polenta
2 Tablespoons grits
3/4 cups bread flour (only because I don't have any all purpose around)
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup whole milk
0. Bring everything to room temperature. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1. Mix butter and sugars.
2. Mix eggs with vanilla, but only just to incorporate
3. Mix together butter and egg mixtures
4. Mix together baking powder, salt and all the starches
5. Pour wet mixture over dry mixture. Fold together just until everything is moistened.
6. Add milk, stirring until just barely mixed.
7. Pour into 10" x 15" jellyroll pan, spreading to the edges. Let sit for 10 minutes so the gritty bits can absorb some moisture.
8. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until the edges are brown and pulling away from the pan. Turn pan once.
9. Let rest in pan for ten minutes. Cut into serving-size pieces and lever out with a spatula.
The toasties are lightly textured, but still substantial enough for a pop up toaster. There's plenty of interesting texture to chew on in each bite which keeps the flavor from fading too quickly. The entire top has been slightly candied so it's a bit crisp and there is a sweetness gradient down through each piece, ranging from corn breakfast muffin on top to hoecake on the bottom. They're probably too sweet to pair well with savory dishes, but it's not a simple sweetness. There's a richness and depth of flavor from the brown sugar and whole wheat flour there too. Very nice. I'll be using this version as my base if I experiment further. Adding wild blueberries or cranberries would certainly work well.