Is it just me, or does March feel like a long month? We’re well past the excitement of the holidays, and at least in this part of the world, everyone feels “done” with the cold, gray weather. There isn’t a long weekend on the horizon until May, and, worst of all, NOTHING is in season any more. We’re done with pumpkins and squash, and January’s citrus explosion is over. It seems like an eternity until strawberry season starts, and my fruit stash in the freezer is getting dangerously low!
All is not lost, however. I still have some rhubarb squirreled away, so I whipped up a batch of muffins last week to share with some girlfriends on a road trip to Milwaukee. (I thought about making blueberry muffins, but then I discovered I’m almost out of frozen blueberries as well. COME ON SPRING!) These are ideal for making the night before a trip because they come together in just a few minutes. And while they’re best warm, right out of the oven, they’re also pretty tasty the next morning.
The recipe was originally published in the now-defunct “Cooking for 2” magazine, and while it’s nice to have a muffin recipe that doesn’t feed an army, I end up doubling (or even tripling) it most days, especially when I plan on sharing with someone besides Andy. (My doubled amounts are reflected below.) I also discovered that you can swap the sour cream for Greek yogurt with no ill effects. I add oatmeal to the topping and use whole wheat pastry flour for half of the flour, in an attempt to feel a little better about eating two or three for breakfast. 🙂
Rhubarb Cream Muffins
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
2 cups fresh or frozen rhubarb*
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons oatmeal
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 375. Line muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well.
Meanwhile, in a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, and then add the sour cream. Add the remaining dry ingredients and stir until almost mixed. Gently fold in the rhubarb and walnuts (this should mix in the rest of the dry ingredients).
To make the topping, whisk the sugar, cinnamon and oatmeal together in a bowl. (Save a dish here and reuse the bowl you mixed the dry ingredients in!) Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter until the butter is evenly distributed and is about the size of small pebbles.
Fill the prepared muffin cups about two-thirds of the way full. (I use my large cookie scoop to evenly portion out the batter.) Top with the prepared topping.
Bake until muffins are golden brown and test “done” with a toothpick, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes in the pans. Remove the muffins from the pans and allow to cool.
*To use frozen rhubarb, measure while frozen, then allow rhubarb to thaw completely in a colander. Drain, but don’t press out the extra liquid.
Adapted from Cooking for 2, Spring 2007
Click here for a printable version.