Rhubarb Pecan Muffins

Rhubarb Pecan Muffins

Rhubarb – what a wonderful, old-fashioned vegetable. While it looks like celery, its lemon-like tartness leads most folks to treat it like a fruit.  And so it gets cooked up in pies, tarts and desserts. If you can’t find rhubarb near you, check a farmer’s market or head to Lancaster County. Most farms  here grow it.  Once you know that you like it, it’s a good idea to plant it. Then it will appear in your garden every spring. Our variety is the strawberry rhubarb – it’s a little sweeter than the green kind and is happy to live along with our flowers.
One year it even blossomed for me!
Here’s the recipe for the muffins:
!/2 cup chopped pecans (toasted) 1 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb
Chop pecans, place them on a cookie sheet in a 350 oven and toast until they start to brown a little.  You’ll be able to tell they are done when they start to smell good. Remove from oven and cool.
Cut the rhubarb and set aside.
Stir together these dry ingredients:
2 1/2 cups flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt
In a separate bowl, beat together:
1 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup buttermilk
Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and mix by hand.  Add the cooled pecans and chopped rhubarb.  Spoon batter into muffin cups.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter, mix with 1/3 cup white sugar and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.  Sprinkle over the tops of the muffins and bake in a preheated 350 oven for about 25 minutes – or until tops spring back when pressed.
Have muffins left over?  They freeze well.
 
Can’t find rhubarb or don’t want to bake?  Well, come on out to The Artist’s Inn in Lancaster County and we’ll be happy to serve up a batch of muffins just for you!