um, apparently we’re 5 days into july?!? not sure how that happened. i could have sworn june *just* started. i guess this is what happens when you go camping for a week, then have a big birthday party plus two weddings all in the same month (and all out of town).
perhaps not surprisingly, as we got towards the end of the month, with one out of town trip left to go, having just returned from a trip, i went on strike and refused to go grocery shopping. it just seemed so pointless to go buy more food when our cabinets and refrigerator were still relatively stocked and we were going to be leaving in a few days, you know?
clearly, we survived my little strike. and it forced me to get creative and use ingredients that had been very patiently waiting for me to get to them but weren’t going to wait around forever.
at the top of that list was the second half of the rhubarb that i had leftover after making rhubarb cornmeal scones a few weeks ago. as it turns out, rhubarb is quite content to live in the fridge as long as you trim the ends from one side and stand it up in a jar with about an inch of water.
even the most patient vegetables have limits, though, so i wanted to make something sweet that we could bring on our last out of town trip that would also use up the rhubarb. enter… rhubarb coffee cake muffins! thanks to the vegetarian flavor bible, i knew cinnamon paired well with rhubarb and i figured muffins would be nice and portable, unlike a more traditional coffee cake.
i was pleased with how the muffins turned out and, perhaps more importantly, i had the chance to share the muffins with some friends/taste testers over the weekend and they were enthusiastic about them as well so… here you go! i dare say they are worth a trip to the market if you don’t have any rhubarb lurking in the back of your fridge, waiting patiently for its turn to be baked into something tasty.
- 375 g. (3 1/8 cup / 13.25 oz.) all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon aluminum free baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs, whites and yolks separated
- 113 g. (1/2 cup / 4 oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 198 g. (1 cup / 7 oz.) granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
- ¼ cup (2 oz. / 60 ml) real maple syrup, preferably grade a: dark color and robust flavor (formerly grade b)
- 16 oz. (2 cups / 454 g.) sour cream (i used light)
- 100 g. (1/2 cup loosely packed / 3.5 oz.) dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 170 g. (6 oz. / 1 1/3 cups) rhubarb, diced
- butter the insides of 18 muffin wells. if you only have one muffin pan that makes 12 muffins, you can bake these muffins in batches. preheat the oven to 350° F.
- in a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar and cinnamon filling/topping. set aside.
- in a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. whisk until incorporated then set aside.
- in a deep bowl, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form; set aside. (if you’re using a stand mixer, transfer the whites to another bowl and set the whites aside.)
- put the butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl and cream until pale and fluffy (about 2 – 3 minutes on speed 4 using a kitchenaid). add the egg yolks, vanilla, and maple syrup and beat until combined (less than a minute on speed 2 with a kitchenaid).
- while the mixer running on low speed, add the sour cream and flour mixture in 3 alternating batches each. the batter will be very smooth and thick by the end.
- remove the bowl from the mixer and use a spatula to gently fold the egg whites into the batter by hand. do not overmix: it’s better to have a few little spots of egg white than to overmix the batter.
- fill each muffin cup halfway full. divide rhubarb evenly among muffin cups then sprinkle each with about ¾ teaspoon of the cinnamon sugar mixture. divide the remaining batter among the muffin cups to cover the rhubarb/cinnamon/sugar. divide the remaining cinnamon sugar mixture evenly and sprinkle over the top of each muffin.
- bake the muffins for 16 – 20 minutes, until they are light golden brown and a tester comes out with just a few loose but not wet crumbs.
- cool in the pan for 5 – 10 minutes then use a thin spatula or butter knife to gently loosen around each muffin. remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling so the bottoms don’t get wet and sticky.
the muffins are best enjoyed the day they are made but can be stored in an airtight container once they are completely cool. they can also be frozen for longer storage. after the first day, the streusel top will begin to get a bit sticky. gently heating leftover muffins in a toaster oven can help reduce the stickiness on the top.