National Rhubarb Pie Day is Jan. 23. While the edible stalk is in season in the spring, the relentlessly cold days of winter are the perfect time to make a sweet treat in anticipation of the vegetable’s harvest season – and warmer days! – ahead.
This year, we’ll be straying a bit from traditional rhubarb pie for this delectable rhubarb cake recipe inspired by Suzanne Montero’s award-winning recipe from the Humboldt County Fair in Nevada, shared in Liza Gershman’s cookbook, “County Fair: Nostalgic Blue Ribbon Recipes from America’s Small Towns.”
Since you can never have too many rhubarb desserts on the table, we’re also throwing in a recipe from Gershman’s book for rhubarb-filled cookies. These thumbprint cookies are inspired by Pauline Bondy’s blue-ribbon prize recipe from the Upper Missouri Valley Fair in North Dakota.
Whether you save these recipes for spring when you can pick up rhubarb at the farmer’s market, or have frozen rhubarb from last season (it freezes well for up to a year) and are ready to get baking now, we think these delightful desserts more than earned their blue ribbons.
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Rhubarb Cake from County Fair by Liza Gershman from Images Publishing
Serving: 1 cake
Cook time: 45 minutes
Prep time: 15 minutes
- 1 lb rhubarb, cut into ½-in chunks (4 cups)
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup water
- 3 cups sifted flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon each ground cloves, allspice and nutmeg
- 1 cup shortening
- 1 ¾ cups brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup rhubarb sauce (see recipe above)
- ¾ cup milk
- ½ cup each raisins and walnuts
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For the rhubarb sauce:
1. Chop rhubarb ribs into ½-inch chunks.
2. In a medium saucepan, add rhubarb, sugar and water, and cook until tender and liquid. Cool before using.
For the cake:
1. Sift together flour, baking powder, soda, salt and spices.
2. Cream shortening and brown sugar until light. Add eggs; beat thoroughly.
3. Stir in cooled rhubarb sauce.
4. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with milk, mixing well after each addition.
5. Fold in raisins and walnuts.
6. Bake in two greased 9-inch pans. Bake at 350 °F for 45 minutes.
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Rhubarb-Filled Cookies from County Fair by Liza Gershman from Images Publishing
Serving: 24 cookies
Cook time: 8-10 minutes
Prep time: 20 minutes
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 ½ cups chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb (thawed)
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 6 teaspoon water, divided
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
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For the cookies:
1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
2. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix well. The dough will be sticky; use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and gather it into a rough ball.
For the filling:
1. Combine rhubarb, sugar and 2 tablespoons of water in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer, uncovered, until thickened, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes.
2. In a small, separate bowl, mix cornstarch, vanilla extract and remaining water until smooth; stir into rhubarb mixture and bring to a boil, continuously stirring until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow it to cool.
3. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Using the end of a wooden spoon handle, make an indentation in the center of each cookie; fill with a rounded teaspoon of filling, and add a little dollop of dough in the center of the filling.
4. Bake at 375 °F until lightly browned, 8-10 minutes.
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These original recipes are from the cookbook “County Fair: Nostalgic Blue Ribbon Recipes from America’s Small Towns” by Liza Gershman from Images Publishing and was shared with Fox News.
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