These Pepper Jack Mini Cornbread Muffins are called “Pepper Jack Barrel Bungs” in Lynne Tolley and Mindy Merrell’s  “Jack Daniel’s Cookbook,” because they look a lot like the wooden barrel bungs used to seal up whiskey barrels.

Unfortunately, I’m not mature enough to talk about “bungs” without going all “Beavis and Butthead,” so let’s just stick with “muffins.”

These muffins are a snap to make – just stir the ingredients together, spoon the batter into your mini muffin tin, and bake. I added two small cans of chopped green chiles, but you could go with a half-cup of cooked, crumbled sausage. Or a cup of sliced okra (thawed from frozen).

Perfect for a Southern-style cocktail party or any other party, for that matter. And soup. They’re really good with soup.

Pepper Jack Barrel Bungs

To reheat, place the muffins on a baking sheet, and slide them into a 400-degree oven for about 10 minutes.

Slightly adapted from the “Jack Daniel’s Cookbook” by Lynne Tolley and Mindy Merrell

Makes 24 mini muffins

  • 3/4 cup self-rising cornmeal mix
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk or about 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped green chiles (optional)
  • 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese or Cheddar
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees F. Grease 24 mini muffin cups.
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a small mixing bowl. (The batter should be creamy and pourable. If it seems too thick, add a splash of water.)
  3. Spoon the batter into each muffin cup. (Each one should be about half full.)
  4. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool the pan on a wire rack for about 5 minutes. Remove the muffins from the pan, and serve warm or at room temperature.
Nutritional Info (Per Muffin) – calories: 44.5, fat: 2.9g, carbs: 3.1g, fiber: 0.1g, protein: 1.8g, PP+ = 1