Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Anne and Diana {Strawberry Rhubarb} "Muffins"

I don't think we realize often enough how blessed we are that strawberries and rhubarb come into season together, skipping right into our kitchens practically holding hands. That's a grace that takes thought and careful consideration.
Both are delightful enough as individuals, but together? They're a whole new category. They're Fred and Ginger, Anne and Diana, Napoleon and Josephine.... And luckily, we have a surplus of both around here.

Always looking for another way to showcase this gorgeous couple, I decided to play around in the kitchen and make "Muffins".

....I say "muffin" because we all know that muffins are really just cupcakes without icing. Or at least that's what Zeke tells me. He's a self proclaimed culinary expert who's helpful enough in the kitchen that I don't try to argue with him. Also, in saying "muffin" I feel like i'm disclosing the fact that I'm making no claims that these are actually healthy. 

I was more than thrilled with the way that these turned out and actually wrote down the recipe as I went this time, rather than throwing things in a mixer and in the end saying "Gee, these are good. Wish I could remember what I did..." A frequent bad habit of mine that i'm trying to break.

I blame it on the constant disappearance of my pens-they're never where I leave them. I think there's a squirrel who lives in my house that's made a nest for itself out of my pens and notepads. But I digress.....
The Recipe: (for 3 dozen, regular sized muffins.)

2 cups of sugar (reserve 1/2 cup of this and set aside.)
2 cups of diced strawberries
2 cups diced rhubarb
4 large eggs
1 cup butter
2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup of sour cream
2 tbsp pure vanilla extract
4 cups of all purpose flour

Preheat your oven to 350

Start by dicing your Rhubarb and Strawberries. You'll want to dice them pretty small so that they'll distribute themselves evenly throughout the batter and each muffin will have some actual fruit. Mine were in 1/2 inch pieces.
Next, mix the strawberries and rhubarb in a bowl with the 1/2 cup of reserved sugar, and set aside for at least 20 minutes. (the sugar will start to pull the juice out of the strawberries and rhubarb and they'll soften up and smell heavenly.)

In your main bowl, beat the eggs, sugar and butter until fluffy. Then add the sour cream, salt, baking powder and baking soda.  and vanilla and beat a while longer.
Now add in your bowl of mingling rhubarb and strawberries. By now they'll be like bosom buddies, swapping childhood memories, naming their first born after each other and what not.
Fold that into your batter and begin adding the flour one cup at a time and beat until smooth.

Line your muffin tins with wrappers, or grease them, whichever you prefer.
I use a cookie scoop to drop my batter evenly in each wrapper. For my scoop, I do two drops per muffin cavity. Anyway you want to get your muffins into your tins is up to you.

Now you can either pop them right in the oven (30 minutes) or you can add some optional streusel topping.


1/2 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Tbsp Butter
1/4 Tsp Cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt

Mix well until crumbly, almost a damp sand texture. Sprinkle generously on the top of the muffins right before they go in the oven.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.
Cool (or don't, if you're feeling daring) and serve.

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