rhubarb streusel muffins

Rhubarb Streusel Muffins

I’m still trying to sort through the 700 pictures that we took in Italy and figure out where to store all the lovely new things we received in our now quite full 1 bedroom apartment but the easiest way for me to feel grounded and back at home is to bake.

Rhubarb Streusel Muffins

I was excited to walk through the first farmers market after we got back to see what had cropped up in the two weeks I was gone and I was glad to see that I hadn’t missed rhubarb season. Sure rhubarb isn’t as exciting as strawberries or peaches but I always enjoy the challenge of “what to make?” with this odd little first summer “fruit”.
Rhubarb Streusel Muffins

Sure I could make a crumble, or some simple syrup for cocktails or some tarts, or just a batch of compote for my greek yogurt but as I caught up with my back log in my reader early on Sunday morning {jet lag} I saw this post on Smitten Kitchen and immediately went into my kitchen and got to baking.

Rhubarb Streusel Muffins

Deb’s description of muffins that were “hearty but not heavy, studded with rhubarb and but not devoid of butter or sugar” sounded perfect after 10 days of chocolate pastry and cappuccino breakfasts while standing at the Bar to save a few Euros. I will freely admit that I just had 3 of these perfect not too sweet, don’t feel too bad about eating them since they have so much whole wheat pasty flour muffins with a big glass of iced coffee after my first run in over 3 weeks. Seems like the perfect way to easy into summer (and married life) to me.

Rhubarb Streusel Muffins

Rhubarb Streusel Muffins
Recipe (barely) adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Deb’s headnotes give more guidance about your flour choices. I used whole wheat pastry flour. I also ran out of brown sugar and used raw cane sugar in the muffin batter to no ill effects.

Streusel
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Muffin
1 large egg
1/4 cup raw cane sugar (or brown sugar if you didn’t run out like me)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to lukewarm
3/4 cup sour cream
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup diced rhubarb, in 1/2-inch pieces (from about 4 to 6 stalks)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter 12 muffin cups.

Make streusel: In a small dish, stir together flours, sugars, spices and salt. Make sure to really break up the brown sugar before adding the butter so that it gets mixed in well. Stir in butter until crumbly. Set aside.

Make muffins: Whisk egg in the bottom of a large bowl with both sugars. Whisk in butter, then sour cream. In a separate bowl, mix together flours, baking powder and baking soda and stir them into the sour cream mixture, mixing until just combined and still a bit lumpy. Fold in rhubarb and 1/3 (just guess at how much) of the streusel mixture.

Divide batter among prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle each muffin with remaining streusel, then use a spoon to gently press the crumbs into the batter so that they adhere. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until tops are golden and a tester inserted into the center of muffins comes out clean. Rest muffins in pan on cooling rack for two minutes, then remove muffins from tin to cool them completely.

Enjoy with some iced coffee after a hot summer morning run.

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