April 27, 2011

Browned Butter Rhubarb Muffins {Powernap}

Rhubarb Muffins

This is the latest installment of my Powernap column. The series where I share quick, easy food that can be made for all kinds of situations. Powernaps are short and sweet, and so are these recipes. These are the things I make in a jiffy when I need a quick snack, am in the mood for a recipe experiment, or simply need to clean out the pantry.

Today’s Powernap: Approximately 4 stalks of perfect rhubarb were scored at the early season farmer’s market (I took all that were available!) The kiddo was at school and I had less than an hour to bake. What is the perfect recipe to ring in rhubarb season that doesn’t take long to make? (Don’t forget: If you need tips on selecting and cooking with rhubarb don’t forget to see my All About Rhubarb Tips!)

Muffins, obviously! And, to elevate these muffins from ordinary to awesome I ramped up the flavor by browning the butter and sprinkling the tops with raw sugar for extra texture. I know when it comes to dreaming up a great one hour recipe, simple one-note muffins might seem a little basic — they only require one bowl and a spoon (!) — but I can assure you these are anything but. Each bite yields a new flavor and texture, inviting you to take more as you work your way through each discovery. One minute you chew a piece of golden almond cake, the next a chunk of soft rhubarb paired with a hint of nutty browned butter, followed by a third bite of crunchy raw sugar topping. They are so rich that I swear you could serve them with ice cream as individual rhubarb cakes and your family and friends would be none the wiser.

These one-bowl muffins were a snap to whip up in my Powernap baking hour while the kiddo was at school. I pulled them out of the oven to cool about two minutes before hopping in the car for pick-up. When we got home she enjoyed a muffin with her after school yogurt snack. I managed to consume only one (what restraint, are you impressed?!) and saved the rest for dessert.

Recipe

Browned Butter Rhubarb Muffins

Ingredients

1 stick unsalted butter

2 eggs
½ cup whole milk
¾ cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 large pinch kosher salt
½ teaspoon almond extract or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups fresh rhubarb cut into ½ to ¾ pieces
2 teaspoons raw sugar for topping

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a regular size 12 cup muffin tin with liners.

2. In a small skillet over medium heat melt the butter and allow it to simmer until it turns a light golden brown and the milk solids start to fall to the bottom of the pan. Remove it from the heat and allow it to cool a bit. Then pour it into a large mixing bowl.

3. To the cooled butter add the eggs, milk and extract and whisk everything well. Then stir in the sugar, flour, baking powder and salt until the batter comes together and is smooth. Carefully fold in the rhubarb pieces. Fill each muffin cup to about half full so that it is evenly distributed amongst all 12 cups. Sprinkle the raw sugar top of the muffins.

4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins are golden brown and spring back when touched.

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

These delicious muffins are great for breakfast or a quick snack. They also are perfect for brunches and summer picnics.

 

Naptime Stopwatch

10 minutes prep time, 25 minutes bake time.

 

Naptime Reviews

We are still bringing my daughter around to rhubarb, but she gave these a fair try. My husband and I polished off the rest!