Southern Corn Sticks
Corn sticks call for baking the batter in a hot, well-greased pan with long, narrow corn-shaped wells, which is what produces the crisp exterior. Southerners pass well-seasoned pans from generation to generation; you can also find them in most cookware stores. Traditional pans are made of cast iron and usually have seven wells.
To prepare the corn sticks, position the oven rack in the center position and preheat the oven to 425ºF (218°C).
In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter with 1 teaspoon of the oil. Use a pastry brush to coat each corn stick pan well generously with the butter-oil mixture. Place the corn stick pan in the oven to heat while you mix the batter.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the buttermilk, egg, and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and use a large spoon to stir the batter slowly, just until the ingredients are combined. There will be some small lumps; that’s okay. No need to panic.
Remove the corn stick pan from the oven and spoon about 2 tablespoons of the batter into each well. The batter should fill the well to the rim.
Bake the corn sticks until the tops are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 15 minutes. If you peek at the bottom of the corn sticks, they'll be browned. Let the corn sticks cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes (but no longer than that). Use a small, sharp knife and your fingers to loosen the edges of the corn sticks and carefully move the sticks from the pan to the rack. Don't turn the pan upside down to release the corn sticks because their weight may break them. Serve warm.