This past weekend I was very generously gifted a very large quantity of rhubarb, with the stipulation that it be used to feed 17 hungry children and 7 hungry adults. I debated what to do – a crisp? a pie? a chutney? – but when I got up early one morning it seemed like the answer was obvious: muffins. Last time I made rhubarb muffins they were a disaster in every sense of the word, so I knew I had to do several things differently. Namely, adding more sugar and oil and at least some white flour. Since I don’t remember liking rhubarb as a kid – I think it was probably too tart for my palate – I also figured that if these were going to be kid-friendly, a cinnamon-sugar topping would be a good idea.. I followed my instincts and made a batch, and since they were given the kid (and adult) approved label very quickly, I figured I’d tell you about them too. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera in the kitchen with me that morning so I had to make another batch today. All for the sake of the blog, you see.
Let’s round up the troops!
All-purpose flour, spelt flour, oat bran, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, butter, cinnamon, white sugar, canola oil, vanilla, rhubarb, buttermilk (or milk + vinegar).
Let’s make the topping first. Grab yourself about 2T of butter to get things started.
Melt the butter, inhale deeply, and give thanks for all good things.
Add 1/2 c of white sugar and about 2t of cinnamon to the melted butter:
Stir it all together.
Now, before we move on, go make yourself a piece of toast and slather some of this stuff on top. After all, quality control is very important!
Now that you’ve eaten your toast, we can make the buttermilk. Obviously, if you have buttermilk in your fridge you can use that, but I didn’t so instead I made my own by measuring 1T of vinegar into a measuring cup and then adding milk until it reached 1c.
We should let the buttermilk sit for a few minutes to thicken up, so we might as well continue on our prep work. What else has to be done?
Well, for starters, we need to dice up some rhubarb:
And get our dry ingredients ready. Never one to repeat things twice, I made a few very minor tweaks to the original recipe that I used on the weekend. For the kids, I used all-purpose flour, but today I wanted to experiment with a combination of all-purpose and spelt flours, plus some oat bran. So I did.
I used 1c of AP flour, 1c of spelt flour, and 1/2 c of oat bran. On the weekend, I used 2.5 c of AP flour.
What is a muffin without sugar? I didn’t bother trying to reduce the amount used, so I added 1.5 c of brown sugar. I also threw in 1t of cinnamon, 1t of salt, and 1t of baking soda. You should too, unless you’re into eating rocks.
Build a sandcastle, and then whisk everything together to break up the clumps of brown sugar.
Buttermilk should be ready by now, so go ahead and add 1 egg, 2/3 c oil, and 1t of vanilla to it.
Whisk the wet ingredients together, and add to the dry ones.
Stir the batter gently to incorporate everything together, like so:
And since rhubarb muffins wouldn’t be complete without rhubarb, add 2c of it:
Stir it together, and then distribute it amoungst 24 muffin cups/silicone liners.
Remember the cinnamon-sugar topping? Now is the time to sprinkle it on top of each muffin like so:
Bake the muffins at 375-degrees for 15-18 minutes.
Let’s check them out!
Yummmm! These are quite sweet and tender, with a hint of spice. These are almost too sweet for me for breakfast, so I may make this into a coffee cake next time or cut back on the sugar. In any event, it looks like rhubarb muffins are a good thing after all!
P.S. Look what happens when you overfill mini-muffin tins…