Zucchini-Rhubarb Muffins with Crumble Topping

It seems as though the only non-objectionable way that I can cook zucchini in this household is in sweet baked goods.  Last year I had a bumper crop from two plants and I was making zucchini bread 6 or 8 loaves at a time.  I found It’s a lot easier to give away zucchini when it’s already baked into a sweet, cinnamon-and-sugar topped loaf of bread, so if I knew someone would be stopping by I would have a loaf or two ready for them to take home.  Although zucchini season came a little late for us this year, we’re finally into it.

So, last week I was eating some zucchini bread from my first batch of the year.  It was delicious.  It was moist and cinnamon-y and sweet, but suddenly I had a revelation that something was missing.  It needed something… something zingy… it needed rhubarb!  I decided I needed to make that happen.  And I am glad I did!

When I leave things like zucchini bread on the counter as a loaf, one of two things will generally happen.  Either I’m the only one who eats it because for others it’s too much work to cut off a slice.  Or, if it does get eaten, chunks just get torn off because, again, it’s too much work to cut off a slice.  So, since I didn’t want to eat the whole loaf myself (again), and I’m apparently the only adult in this household that isn’t a caveman, I needed to do something that wasn’t just a loaf of zucchini-rhubarb bread.  Enter: Muffins.

The tartness of the rhubarb is a nice contrast to the sweetness of the muffin and it pairs well with the cinnamon, while the zucchini keeps the muffins nice and moist.  The crumble topping adds some texture along with a little extra sweetness and a pop of buttery goodness.  Every bite is just a little different.

My first attempt at this recipe made 24 muffins, which was a little too much, so my first task was to halve the recipe.  How do you halve three eggs?!?!  I got some advice from a friend who just happens to be a baker.  Based on what she told me, I did some finagling with some measurements and I was happy with the results.

You’re going to have 4 bowls with different components (wet batter, dry batter, rhubarb, and topping), but don’t let that scare you away.  Once you have each of your components ready, the recipe comes together pretty quickly.  Ready?   Here we go…

Zucchini-Rhubarb Muffins with Crumble Topping

1 to 1 1/2 cups rhubarb, cut into half-inch chunks
1 1/2 cups plus 1 teaspoon flour, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup oil (I used canola)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup zucchini, shredded, squeezed in a kitchen towel to remove moisture
1/4 cup milk

For the Topping

1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Line a muffin tin with paper liners and spray lightly with cooking spray.  Set aside

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In a small bowl (like, cereal bowl size) toss rhubarb chunks in 1 teaspoon of flour.  Set aside.

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In another small bowl, mix topping ingredients (1/2 cup flour, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/2 stick melted butter, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon).  Set aside.

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Next, we’re going to get our dry ingredients ready.  In another bowl (we’ll call it a medium bowl, since our “small” bowl was a cereal bowl) mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Guess what?  We’re going to set this aside too.

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Ready for some real action?

In a large bowl (or the bowl of your mixer), add 1/3 cup oil, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, and the zucchini.  Mix on medium speed until well combined.  Then add half of your dry ingredients (the stuff from the medium bowl).

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Give that a little mix then add half of the milk

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Repeat that one more time and mix until everything is just combined.  Give it a good scrape with your spatula to make sure there aren’t any clods stuck to the side of the bowl.

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Add the rhubarb and fold it in by hand.

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Spoon the mixture into your prepared muffin cups.  They’ll be pretty full.  I like my muffins to have nice tops – that’s why you want to be sure to spray the muffin pan so any overflow from the tops doesn’t stick.

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Distribute the topping equally among all the muffins.  Just crumble it with your fingers.

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Put the muffins in the 400-degree oven then turn down the heat to 375 degrees.  Bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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Once they are done let them cool for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

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…Or don’t wait for them to cool completely and dig in while they’re still a little warm!

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I hope you enjoy my little twist on zucchini bread.  We’re certainly enjoying them here… I think my husband ate 4 of them for breakfast this morning.

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Zucchini-Rhubarb Muffins with Crumble Topping


Ingredients

  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups rhubarb, cut into half-inch chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1 teaspoon flour, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup zucchini, shredded, squeezed to remove moisture
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • For the Topping

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Line a muffin tin with paper liners and spray lightly with cooking spray and set aside

In a small bowl toss rhubarb chunks in 1 teaspoon of flour.  Set aside.

In another small bowl, mix topping ingredients and set aside.

In a medium bowl mix together your dry ingredients: 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and set aside.

In a large bowl (or the bowl of your mixer), add 1/3 cup oil, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, and the zucchini.  Mix on medium speed until well combined.

Alternate adding dry ingredients with the milk and mix until everything is just combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.  Once everything is combined, fold in the rhubarb.

Spoon the mixture into your prepared muffin cups. Then distribute the topping equally among all the muffins.

Put the muffins in the 400-degree oven then turn down the heat to 375 degrees.  Bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Once they are done let them cool for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

 

Kimberly | My Frugal Farmstead

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