Posted by: njbrown | October 14, 2011

Buttermilk Corn Sticks for Thanksgiving

Buttermilk Corn Sticks for Thanksgiving

We celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving this week.  For the first ten years in Canada, we ignored it and waited for American Thanksgiving, but as the children grew, we made the transition.  Corn sticks are part of each Thanksgiving, and a bow to our New England Pilgrim ancestors.

I think it must have been in my college years in western Massachusetts that I first ate corn sticks.  Made in heavy cast iron pans, each corn stick came out with the pattern of kernels, and was a perfect miniature ear of corn.  I thought they were darling.  Eventually, I bought two of the pans at one of the country stores in the area, and they will literally last forever.

I used boxed cornbread mix for many years (bringing six boxes at a time over the border).  This year, I decided to make them from scratch, and went to Julia’s recipe (which she had taken from the Quaker cornmeal box).  Obviously, corn sticks can be served at times other than Thanksgiving.  Julia says breakfast, lunch, dinner and tea all work.  I think they’d be a wonderful accompaniment for chili, and other hearty soups.

Today, you don’t have to have a New England country store to buy corn stick pans – Wal-Mart has them.  To prevent the corn sticks from sticking to the molds, be sure to follow the directions for seasoning and cleaning after use.

Buttermilk Corn Sticks (from The Way to Cook by Julia Child)

Makes 14


  • 1/3 cup fresh peanut oil, plus a little more to oil the molds
  • 1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup white all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh and active double-acting baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg lightly beaten


  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Brush the molds generously with peanut oil and heat in the oven 5 to 10 minutes before baking.  (Note:  I use baking spray and have good results.)
  3. Mix the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a big bowl.   When the molds are hot, vigorously and rapidly beat the buttermilk into the cornmeal mixture, then the egg, and finally the 1/3 cup of oil.
  4. Being careful with the hot molds, use either a very large kitchen spoon or a pastry bag with a 3/4 inch tube opening, fill the molds roundly full as fast as you can and pop them back into the oven.
  5. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, until lightly puffed and brown – they will come easily out of the molds.  Turn them over rapidly and return to the oven 2 or 3 minutes to brown on the other side.

(Julia says these are best hot and fresh, but can be reheated or frozen and then reheated.)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: