Sunday, May 17, 2015

Rhubarb Berry Muffins

Yummy note: When life gets busy, I bake. Seriously, it is almost more therapeutic than anything else. Not sure if it is the process of doing something and feeling accomplished that I finished it in a desired amount of time, or if it is just because I get to indulge in something yummy :)  With all of the end of the school year functions going on, teacher appreciation week, volunteer appreciation day, baseball starting and such, whew.. I knew I had to find something fun to bake. Hooray, cue in this month's Secret Recipe Club assignment. This month, I was assigned Cook with Sara. Sara had a bunch of comfort food recipes, but what stood out to me the most was she had an amazing selection of baked goodies..oh, this lady rocks, oh, and I should mention she is from the Midwest like myself... yep, excellent connection, perhaps that is why I liked her recipes so much ;-) Soo many decisions... I recently found some frozen rhubarb in my freezer from last season, and knew I had to use it up in the next month or so. When I had came across several different recipes using rhubarb on Sara's blog, I thought that would be fun. Plus, who doesn't love the sweet and tartness of rhubarb. I chose to make the rhubarb blueberry muffins as they could be easily packaged up and shared with others. These muffins were so flavorful and packed full of deliciousness, many compliments were given. So thank you Sara for this recipe, as it was a hit.  

Rhubarb Berry Muffins

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1-6 oz. container yogurt (blueberry or plain)
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup quick oats
4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup milk

2 cups chopped rhubarb (fresh or frozen)
2 cups of blueberries (fresh or frozen)*

*Original recipe stated to use 2 cups of blueberries, but I ran out, so I substituted 1 cup of strawberries, along with 1 cup of blueberries. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream the softened butter and sugar together. Add in the eggs and yogurt. In a different bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking powder, and salt. Mix the dry ingredients, alternatively with the milk, into the batter. Then fold in the blueberries, strawberries, and the rhubarb. For best results, use paper-lined muffin cups, and fill muffin tins about 3/4 full with the batter. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes, or until tester comes out clean. You may also make these into mini loaves of bread and bake for about 25 minutes as well. I topped some of these breads/muffins with a simple powdered sugar frosting, using about 1 cup of powdered sugar, 2 tbsp water and 1/2 tsp vanilla.   

Mini Rhubarb Berry Breads 

Rhubarb, frozen or fresh, works wonderfully in this recipe. I thawed my frozen rhubarb slightly before adding it to the batter. 

I used a combination of strawberries and blueberries, but you could use any berries or fruit with the rhubarb. 

Be careful not to stir the batter too much when you add in the fruit, just fold it in gently to avoid over-mixing.
Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full. 

Bake rhubarb berry muffins about 20-25 minutes until golden brown and set.
Mini breads topped with a simple frosting/glaze.
These little breads are packed full of yummy goodness! 

Please visit Sara over at Cook with Sara, as she has some of her favorite recipes ready to share with you. Here's a couple, I can't wait to try out later-  restaurant-style salsa and creme egg brownies.      

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Snickerdoodle Cookies

Yummy note: The other night the kids and I were making cookies to take to one of my daughter's class volunteer appreciation party and it hit me that I have never posted our family snickerdoodle cookie recipe. I had to dig it out of the family recipe binder, since I couldn't find the electronic copy? not cool. Ok, so I had to fix that. Snickerdoodles, according to my kids, are kinda like cinnamon toast- sugary, sweet, and a little crunchy- such a great food analogy! Hope you enjoy our family-trusted snickerdoodle cookie recipe, I wish I knew where the source came from, but I am unaware of who gave me this or where this recipe originated...All I know, it produces fantastic cookies :) 

Snickerdoodle Cookies 

1 cup shortening, softened 
1 1/2 cups sugar 
2 eggs 
2 3/4 cups flour 
2 tsp cream of tartar 
1/2 tsp salt 
1 tsp baking soda 
* additional 2 tbsp sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix shortening, sugar, and eggs together. Sift dry ingredients together and blend into the shortening mixture. Chill dough, if time allowed. I have done it both ways, where I was low on time and baked them right away without chilling and it still worked fine. Roll the dough balls the size of about walnuts or use a cookie scooper. Drop the dough balls into a cinnamon/sugar mix- using about 2 tbsp sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon. This can be modified to your liking of how much cinnamon you like. Place dough on parchment-lined cookie sheet or on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 8-10 minutes, or until the cookie starts to puff up and the edges start to set. The cookies will then flatten some as they cool with a crinkled/cracked top.