If I were rich and famous and could get away with such things, I'd name my first-born daughter Rhubarb and then call her Ruby. Okay, there is no way I'd ever do that, even if I were rich and famous. I might do it to a dog, though. That might happen. The point is that I love Rhubarb. I love it enough to capitalize it at inappropriate times.
I love it so much that if you search this blog you'll find Rhubarb gelées, Rhubarb compote, chicken roasted with Rhubarb, a Rhubarb cake, and Rhubarb soup and porridge. I am so obsessed that just reading the recipe index might give you a case of semantic satiation. Rhubarb, Rhubarb, Rhubarb.
So I guess it should be obvious that I'm always on the lookout for new ways to use my favorite vegetable. Enter the Rhubarb-Filled Cookie. They're tender, cake-like cookies, rich with butter and filled with a compote of sweetened and thickened rhubarb. If you want your rhubarb cookies to be filled with a ruby-colored filling, you have to find stalks of the same color. Unfortunately, our closest grocery store only ever carries green rhubarb that barely blush at the ends. So my filling isn't quite the sunset-red that I'd prefer. But the taste is the same.
You might end up with some leftover rhubarb filling. I definitely did. But you can use it pretty much like rhubarb jam. May I suggest swirling it into your morning oatmeal? Or just eating it with a spoon?
Adapted from Taste of Home Cookies
For the cookies:
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
For the filling:
550g fresh rhubarb, chopped
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream the butter and both of the sugars together in a large bowl until well combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between each addition. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add this dry mixture to the butter mixture in thirds. Be sure the batter is well-mixed, but don't overwork the dough.
For the filling, into a pot large enough to hold everything, pour enough water to just cover the bottom of the pot (you really don't want too much water) then add the rhubarb along with the sugar. Cook over medium to medium-low heat until the rhubarb starts to reduce and thicken, about 10 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent burning. In a small separate bowl, combine the cornstarch with 4 tablespoons of water and whisk until the mixture is smooth and lose. Stir this mixture into the rhubarb and bring to a boil. Cook for about 2 more minutes until the cornstarch has a chance to thicken up the rhubarb mixture to a thick jam-like consistency. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
Preheat the oven to 375F
Measure out the dough using a tablespoon and roll each piece of dough into a smooth ball. Place them 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet (you'll need more than one, I baked 4 sheets worth, but my sheets are small). Using the handle of a wooden spoon, make a well in the middle of each cookie. Spoon some of the rhubarb filling into each well. Break off small pieces of dough and plop those into the middle of the filling. Bake for 10-11 minutes, until the cookies are lightly browned but still relatively soft. Cool on wire racks.