Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Dear Fingers (Rhubarb Cupcakes)

I have problems. My fingers seem to get in the way of my projects. Once upon a time, about two and a half years ago, they decided to pick a fight with a belt sander. Unfortunately, they lost. It resulted in 3 weeks of bandages, long periods of time between showers and general pain. It also means that I have scars over three of my finger pads so I don't have regular fingerprints. That is kind of cool I suppose.

Then in the fall, a potato peeler attacked my finger. That was just a band-aid kind of wound.

Last night, a burn to my thumb.

I may have mentioned that my parents got me a "Cupcake-a-Day" calendar for Christmas. You rip off a page every day and get new cupcakes or muffins and a few variations on them. Rhubarb cupcakes came up about a month ago and I was really itching to try them. I do love rhubarb. I got some from my grandma and pondered why I was willing to eat something that looked so similar to celery. Ick. It almost smells like it too. That pretty pink color kept me going. I whipped up the recipe last night, successfully keeping my fingers away from the knife I was using to chop the rhubarb finer. I didn't get anything stuck in the mixer paddles. I was doing well.

Then I took the muffins out of the oven and I guess I didn't have enough of the hot pad over the pan when I put my thumb down and BAM! burn. Thankfully, as Alex said, I didn't drop anything. He is so numb to my finger injuries that he just stayed in his room and told me that there is ice in the freezer. Jess heard me swearing all the way from outside the front door where she was standing there waiting for Alex to let her in. Anyways, it hurt. A lot. I wish I had my Boo-boo bunny to hold the ice for me, but I settled for paper towel wrapped around an ice cube.

I saved my muffins though! They were delicious. Yummy on many levels. The dense sweetness of the bread with the tartness of the rhubarb works so well. I dusted them with powdered sugar from my super cute mini strainer and called it a night. So much for going to bed early. Around 9:30 I finally popped some Ibuprofin and put some burn ointment on the burn, wrapped it in gauze and went to bed after 10. I'm still tired from this weekend and now even more tired because Ibuprofin takes a long time to kick in so I had a hard time falling asleep.

I ate two of the muffins for breakfast this morning. I figured that by not putting frosting on them, they're muffins and not cupcakes, so they're okay to eat for breakfast.

The cupcake recipe was so simple. I love when recipes say "mix all ingredients together." Okay. I have no problem with that. One bowl later, it's done. The batter was surprisingly thick. I spooned it into the cups rather then poured. It looked a lot like bread dough rather than muffin/cupcake batter. Delicious none the less. Also, I only have a 6 cup muffin pan, so baking things like this take a while. I got the bright idea to put my liners in a pan instead to see what would happen. So 6 went into the muffin pan and 6 got filled and put in a metal 8x8 pan. I had the thought that the end result might be a little different and I was right. The muffins baked in the muffin pan were a uniform golden brown on the outside whereas the ones that were just in the metal pan were only golden brown on the top and bottom, not the sides. Interesting. I'm pretty sure they all taste the same and I think that's all that matters. :)
I think it would be smart to invest in some real oven mitts that go over my entire hand, thereby preventing any future burns while in the kitchen.

Rhubarb Cupcakes
1 cup (2 sticks) sweet butter, softened
1 cup superfine sugar
2 cups self-rising flour
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup rhubarb, diced

Preheat the oven to 400. Combine all the cupcake ingredients, except the rhubarb, in a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and pale, about 2 to 3 minutes. Fold in the rhubarb. Spoon the batter into the cups. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove pans from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Then remove the cupcakes and cool on a rack.

I dusted mine with powdered sugar. It would also be good with a cream cheese frosting. The original recipe also had ginger in it and candied ginger in the frosting. I prefer mine without frosting so I can call them muffins and eat them for breakfast.

Store unfrosted in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.

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