June 4, 2010

When life hands you rhubarb...make cookies!

As you may have realized by now, I’m not a gourmet cook. That’s an understatement, as well. So, today I attempted to execute a very difficult Rustic Rhubarb Tart that looked amazing online but was probably over my head as a relatively new cook. I invested time (about 2 1/2 hours) and money (lets just say I had to buy special flour, milk, and organic vanilla bean pods as well as $10 worth of rhubarb at Whole Foods). However, when push came to shove, the dough just wasn’t going to stick together and the rhubarb mixture tasted a little funny. I made them anyway, and they were….interesting; not really edible and definitely not fit for the class presentation I had in mind for them. So, I was in a bad mood and I had about two cups left over of beautiful cooked rhubarb with vanilla bean seeds that I had hand scraped into them. I went online and searched for a recipe that called for cooked rhubarb and I found: Rhubarb Cookies. What? There is actually a site dedicated to rhubarb called “Rhubarb Compendium”. I followed the recipe loosely but made a lot of changes depending on what I had in the house. I was extremely skeptical, but when I pulled them out the oven, they were AMAZING! They were super cute, moist, delicious, spicy and wonderful. I would make them again and I am happy now because my challenge turned into a delight.

Vanilla Nut Rhubarb Cookies

1 stick butter (softened)
1/2 c brown sugar
1 egg
1 c cooked rhubarb
2 c whole wheat flour
1/4 t salt
1 t baking soda
1 t nutmeg
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t ground cloves
1/2 c walnuts or almonds, chopped

1. To cook rhubarb: Wash and trim stalks. Cut lengthwise down the middle and then cut ¾ inch pieces on the diagonal. Heat the rhubarb covered on mid-low for 15 minutes with ½ cup of honey and a half-pod of fresh vanilla if you have it. This will release some of the water from the stalks. Then, heat a little higher (mid to mid-high) for another 15 minutes until the rhubarb is super soft and bubbly. Transfer it to a bowl and stick it in the fridge until it’s cool-ish.

2. Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the egg then stir in the rhubarb. Combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and spices together then stir the dry ingredients into the rhubarb mixture until the two are blended. Roll dough balls in your hands and place them on baking sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 10-12 minutes, until they puff up and get slightly brown on top.

This is now an original recipe by me! Happy rhubarb season!!


  1. Ginger,
    You have come along way since your blog began. I enjoy reading what you find next to cook and you seem to greatly enjoy the results. Next time in the spring try getting rhubarb at a farmer's market and freeze some for later when the season is over.

  2. I'm so excited about this! I just got rhubarb from my CSA and have no idea what to do with it. I may have to try to make this gluten-free :)

  3. We recently started a really large urban garden (someone nicely built a fence around the land for us even!) and we have some rhubarb coming in on one of our plots. I was afraid all we would get is rhubarb pie, so this sounds like an awesome use for it! I'll make sure to get some to you when it is ready.

  4. thanks guys! i was equally as suprised about the many uses of rhubarb - i encourage you to try these cookies 'cause they are delicious and unexpected ;)