Tonight, I am King of the Lab--or, rather, Queen of the Kitchen.
Today, while I was at work, I was struck with this sudden, undeniable urge to bake. It happens to me every once and a while and the feeling will linger until I've satisfied my craving. When the mood struck, my mind immediately began going through my contact list of mouths I've got stored away for occasions such as these; because, you see, I dare not bake for myself alone. I'd rather put my hands to work, allow my taste buds the satisfaction of a sample, and give the rest away. Once I decided who would be gifted with the fruits--or, rather, sweet treats of my labor, I had to decide what to make.
What I really wanted to try was a batch of cinnamon rolls. I've never made them from scratch before and I've got this recipe that I've been anxious to try for weeks! But--I couldn't think of enough mouths to dole them out to, and such decadent sweets aren't allowed in my diet, just yet. So, plan B.
The winter months and holiday seasons have left me with a variety of pumpkin recipes to choose from. While the former me would have jumped at the chance to make something sweet with that versatile plant we call a pumpkin, the new me has been feeling hesitant about it. Why? Because the easiest way to add pumpkin to a recipe is to buy it in a can--something I've been trying to avoid when at all possible. And, yes, I could buy a pumpkin and go through all the steps to make my own version of what comes in a can--but then I think back to my Halloween days as a kid and all the work it took to hollow out a pumpkin, and my desire to eat it withers away.
But, lately, I've been thinking...
Every year, my grandma makes sweet potato pie instead of pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I wondered--if you could essentially substitute sweet potatoes for pumpkins in a pie, why couldn't you do that in everything else? From pancakes to cookies--the possibilities seemed endless. I needed to give it a try. So tonight, I set out to make sweet potato cookies.
Ladies and gentlemen--Queen of the Kitchen. This is the best experimental recipe I've made thus far and I encourage you to try it! Switch things up a bit, I dare you.
Sweet Potato Cookies
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup organic sugar
1/2 cup softened butter (I used vegan butter)
1 cup pureed sweet potato (If your sweet potato yields a little more than a cup, that's okay! Use the extra.)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sweet Potatoes: boil your sweet potato(es) until they are soft enough to stick a fork through and then drain; while they are still hot, beat them until they are mashed or toss them into your food processor. Set the mashed potatoes aside.
Preheat oven to 350
Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a medium bowl. Beat sugar and butter in a large mixer bowl until well blended. Beat in sweet potatoes, egg, and vanilla extract until smooth. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Drop round tablespoons onto parchment paper covered baking sheets.
Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until edges are firm. Cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
I really do hope you'll give this recipe a try--they're plump, soft, and delicious!