3.22.2011

Divine Muffins


 I love muffins, don't you? And cupcakes. Really fine line there. What is it I read once about the difference? Cupcakes have frosting, whereas muffins do not.
  That's a good enough explanation for me. But if you want a formulaic definition, here it is, courtesy of Diana's Desserts:

"A basic formula for muffins is 2 cups flour, 2-4 tablespoons sugar, 2½ teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 egg, ¼ cup oil, shortening or butter and 1 cup milk. When the fat, sugar and egg ratio in a recipe reaches double or more than this, you have reached the cake level."


But the first definition says it all. Muffins never have frosting. Does the cinnamon sugar on top of mine count as frosting? :) And just to make these a bit more unusual, I added a touch of cardamom. Of course, these are rhubarb muffins. Did I forget to mention that? They are a little tart, a little sweet...a great combination. And incredibly tender. Just a tad of butter needed....or maybe not. I passed on the butter and scarfed them down warm right out of the oven.

What do you think of the tall, narrow shape? Someone gave me a couple packages of Robert Gordon paper cupcake liners. They make a really sweet presentation at a party. I didn't expect it, but the paper peeled back just as easily as the flimsy regular paper muffin cups I normally use. I have two patterns, this floral one 





and some with stripes. I haven't looked online for a source yet, but I bet you clever blogging buddies know where to get them. Let me know, will you? (And yes, they're Australian. Anyone know a U.S. source?)

Rhubarb Muffins

From the recipe here


Ingredients:

9 oz. (2 cups) all-purpose flour 
3/4 cup granulated sugar 
2-1/2 tsp. baking powder 
1 tsp. ground cinnamon 
1/2 tsp. baking soda 
1/2 tsp. kosher salt 
1 cup sour cream 
4 oz. (8 Tbs.) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly 
2 large eggs 
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract 
1-1/2 cups 1/4-inch-diced rhubarb (7-1/4 oz.) 


For the topping: 
3 Tbs. granulated sugar 
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
(I added 1/4 teaspoon cardamom)

Method:

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper or foil baking cups.
Make the muffin batter: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt and whisk to blend.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Lightly stir the sour cream mixture into the dry ingredients with a spatula until the batter just comes together; do not overmix. Gently stir in the diced rhubarb. The batter will be thick.

Divide the batter among the muffin cups, using the back of a spoon or a small spatula to settle the batter into the cups. The batter should mound a bit higher than the tops of the cups.

Make the topping: In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon and mix well. Sprinkle a generous 1/2 tsp. of the cinnamon-sugar mixture over each muffin.
Bake the muffins until they’re golden brown, spring back most of the way when gently pressed, and a pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes. Carefully lift the muffins out of the pan—if necessary, loosen them with the tip of a paring knife—and let them cool somewhat. Serve warm.
Yields 12 medium muffins.

67 comments:

  1. I always love a good muffin! And the cupcake liners are sooo pretty!

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  2. I wonder if the store has rhubarb.

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  3. I love both muffins and cupcakes and the cupcake holders are delightful.
    My other half is a big rhubarb fan so he'll be glad when I bake these.

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  4. What a gorgeous shape. I've never seen papers cups this pretty. I can't wait to bake with rhubarb.

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  5. Barbara, you really come up with some clever ways to use rhubarb. Lovely muffins.

    The pattern on those liners is adorable. When I first saw them, I thought they were miniature lamp shades.
    Sam

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  6. As the name suggest..divine, they do look really! Love the texture and a very creative use of Rubarb.

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  7. Just in the knick of (spring)time you are here with a rhubarb recipe. We love rhubarb and it should be rearing it's stalky head anytime now.

    Love the shape.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  8. I'll take a muffin OR a cupcake for breakfast anyday. I have no shame.

    These muffins sound absolutely delicious! Love the rhubarb...must be such a nice tart kick amidst that sweet cake!

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  9. Love those liners, very pretty and a very nice shape! The muffins look so good.

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  10. In going through the freezer I came across some of last years rhubarb. These would be perfect to use up the last of my resourses until this years crop.

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  11. I love your floral one:)

    Etsy is my source for cupcake muffin liners..and most things..I love Etsy.

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  12. I love muffins too. Funny thing I was looking at a rhubarb muffin recipe last night and this morning I found this. It's a sign I think.
    The muffins look wonderful.
    Have a nice day.

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  13. Muffin fan of any kind - yours look delicious! Love the liners too - I have some and use them for cupcakes!

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  14. I'm such a muffin addict! yet, I have never eaten rhubarb muffins. Your recipe sounds great.
    Greetings from Amsterdam.

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  15. Those are definitely on my must-make list now. No, I don't think a sprinkling on top counts as frosting, and those liners are the cutest things EVER!

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  16. Well you know I love rhubarb, and cardamom, so these are defnitely a winner in my book! I like those tall muffin cups very much, they make your already lovely muffins look even more elegant.

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  17. They look delicious! I am a real rhubarb addict.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  18. I love the height of these muffins - so elegant! And, you have found yet another use for rhubarb!

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  19. Muffins are hard for me to pass up, no matter how much sugar they contain. Would love the rhubarb in these!

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  20. You are definitely the queen of rhubarb! I love the tall narrow shape from your muffin liners.
    Mimi

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  21. Love those liners, and the shape they give. Lovely using rhubarb, which I LOVE

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  22. Although I may not have thought of putting rhubarb in a muffin...I'm certainly glad you showed off yours. Barbara, these are worthy of a charming bakery shop.
    The liners are a bonus for sure ;o)

    Ciao for now,
    Claudia

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  23. I am a huge fan of both cupcakes and muffins. :) I've always wanted to try rhubarb; thanks for sharing this recipe.

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  24. The minute I saw rhubarb I raced to the print button! These look delicious (with or without icing...)!!! Thanks for an awesome spring recipe!

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  25. Those liners are beautiful. I've been seeing more and more lovely liners out there. I can't wait to try this recipe - I love rhubarb! What a perfect spring recipe.

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  26. Not only have you inspired me to seek out those lovely cupcake liners, Barbara, I now have a strong desire for a rhubarb muffin, no, let me rephrase that I need your muffin right now!!! Oddly enough, I don't fancy rhubarb, usually:)

    Thank you so much for sharing. I may just need to try rhubarb again!!!

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  27. Hi Barbara,

    I love the sweet floral paper cupcake liners and thanks for the rhubarb muffin recipe.
    the other day I was shopping I saw the most gorgeous heart shaped muffin trays.

    Hope that your week is going well.
    Hugs
    Carolyn

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  28. The cupcake liners are great! I love the finished product these look great.

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  29. I must be getting old, because when I saw those liners, I thought, "Those are almost too pretty to use." Ack, I'm turning into my mother.

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  30. Pretty liners! And if I'm not mistaken, I think Robert Gordon might be Australian. I use their cupcake liners all the time, they have a great pastel range with little polka dots on them. I think there is a website.

    Oh and after I finished admiring the paper liners, I admired the very prettily pink muffins :)

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  31. I am a big fan of rhubarb! I can't wait for our rhubarb to wake up in our garden, so I can give this recipe a try. xo

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  32. I never say no to a muffin or cupcake as beautiful as this one!

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  33. I know spring is here when I start seeing rhubarb.. one of my favorite things.

    Thanks for the definition of muffin/cupcake... they do seem to blur. I think I always thought of cupcakes having a frosting... not the cake itself...but there I said it.. cake. HMMM. Gorgeous recipe and love those liners... I keep meaning to doll up my efforts but never do.

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  34. These look so delicious, Barbara! Perfect for breakfast. I'll have to try them once I get my hands on some rhubarb this season. I've been dying to try baking with it! :) Thanks for sharing.

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  35. I have always wondered that, the difference between cupcakes and muffins. THese look so lovely, and with that little dash of cardamom in there, I feel like you made these just for me :D
    *kisses* HH

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  36. Well, you may have never made monkey bread, but guess what? I've never baked with rhubarb! They look fabulous!

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  37. These liners are taking the muffins, cupcakes to a new level of sophistication; pretty soon people will not be able to eat them unless they have a pretty liner! Love yours today Barbara!

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  38. The muffins are such a pretty shape! Love the liners!

    I didn't know it was an official muffin rule not to frost them, but I've never had the urge. But yes, I do a lot of cinnamon/sugar sprinkling, too.

    You post the most interesting assortment of goodies! I'm glad you like desserts and feel inclined to share the love. :)

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  39. Hehe yep that's what I have heard is the difference between a cupcake and a muffin too :) And I have those exact liners at home too but I tend to not bake in them as they use so much batter and I can only get half the amount of cupcakes. I just slide in the baked cupcakes into the sleeves as they're so pretty! If you ever need help buying them just let me know Barbara :)

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  40. Barbara,
    I wonder if we can get rhubarb here yet?? I doubt it, mine will be up in the garden in a few months and I will add this along with your rhubarb curd bars to my recipe list. I can not wait...I am starving for these rhubarb treats!
    xx
    Bunny
    Love the papers..adorable

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  41. I'm glad that you brought up this topic because I have seen some muffin recipes that really test the limits with frosting. These look so delightful with the bits of rhubarb. And I adore the muffin liners.

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  42. Mmm... these are perfect looking muffins for sure! Love the rhubarb in the muffins, I've been wanting to make muffins with rhubarb. Actually, tomorrow morning i'm posting rhubarb pancakes :)

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  43. I love the use of rhubarb in the muffins. It's still really expensive here in NY but as soon as the price drops I'm going to be all over it! :)

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  44. The shapes of these are so adorable and different. And I love how you see the big chunks of bright red fruit when you cut them open. A great way to start the day.

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  45. these beauts have the honor of being the first rhubarb muffins i've ever seen. lovely, barbara!

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  46. These look wonderful! I want to try these with my amish batter, thanks!

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  47. These muffins are beautiful Barbara. I just discovered a baking shop nearby and hope to find all kinds of fun supplies. Hope they have the little cups like these.

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  48. These look incredible!! I love the muffin/cupcake discussion... but we have a fabulous place in this area that is a muffin shop but the muffins often involve frosting! But they're shaped more like a muffin- with the muffin top? It's confusing!! Either way, I love them :)

    Sues

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  49. Delish and wholesome. And how cute are those liners?!!!

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  50. Oh my goodness these muffins look scrumptious!

    Love your blog, by the way :)

    Hugs from your newest fan xx

    Camille @ Paris in Pink

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  51. I was just thinking this morning that I haven't made muffins in a long time. These look great - I can't wait for the local rhubarb to be ready here!

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  52. These look so good! I love rhubarb but never know what to make with it besides a rhubarb pie. I'll have to make these soon :)

    http://sprinklesinsprings.blogspot.com/

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  53. I have never heard of rhubarb muffins but they look great. I love muffins!

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  54. I wish I could wake-up to one of these tomorrow!

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  55. I love the tall, straight shape of these muffins! I know you can get plain brown, straight-sided cups (they look like panettone paper forms only smaller) at Sur la Table. And, now, I need to find out if we have rhubarb in town yet!

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  56. Thanks for the information about the difference between muffins and cupcakes. I googled this once before but never found a definitive answer like you provided. And although I like cupcakes, I LOVE muffins!

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  57. Those muffins have risen so high and so pretty!

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  58. This year I am trying rhubarb! I do love the shape of these muffins. Beautiful.

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  59. In my opinion, a muffin is made by adding a wet mix to a dry mix and a cupcake is made by adding the dry ingredients to a creamed butter mixture. So yours are most definitely muffins, and absolutely stunning they are too.

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  60. I"m going to put a link back so I can make these muffins, yum,, It wasquit enjoyable reading your blog this morning , have a great week , Tink

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  61. I love the tall and narrow shape. I also love muffins - I use two recipes (simple and oatmeal muffins) that I"ve used successfully in the US, and for some reason I cannot figure out, they just don't come out the same here.

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  62. OOOOOH, rhubarb! It is hard for me to think of the harvest when we have just barely welcomed Spring here with nothing but SNOW. The muffins look wonderful. I love the shape and the little cups. So pretty.
    :)
    Valerie

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  63. I found those red stalks emerging in a friend's garden this past week--perfect timing. Your recipe looks great, Barbara--true "muffin-ness" not too sweet!
    I love the shape of them too---has anyone found the source?

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  64. I'm bookmarking these to make as soon as I see rhubarb in the store. Definitely divine!

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  65. I adore a good muffin - and a rhubarb one even better.

    I have a few of those muffin liners, mostly pastel polka dots, they are so very pretty :)

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  66. muy lindos los muffins se ven deliciosos,quería encontrarme con una receta de ruibarbo,te felicito se ven maravillosos,cariños y abrazos,buena semana y bendiciones.

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