Tag Archives: sweet potatoes

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting & Candied Pecans

sweet potato cupcakes

Hey friends.

I know it’s been awhile.

Hopefully some sweet potato cupcakes will appease you. (For now.)

plain cupcakes

They are quite delightful, these moist little muffins topped with creamy frosting and crunchy pecans.

single cupcake

I’m currently testing recipes for a friend’s wedding. This friend, to be exact. These passed the test. Remember last time I made cupcakes for a wedding? I vowed only to do one wedding every two years.

I’m a woman of my word, it turns out. Except when that word involves promising to write more. That kind of thing is best left to chance.

Anyway, I know I should be posting recipes that help people keep their New Year’s resolutions, not actively attempt to break them. Alas, one of those recipes is best left to another day.

The original recipe for these cupcakes comes from some sort of Food Network cupcake challenge, but I’ve modified it to suit my tastes. (And the happy couple, of course.)

If you make them yourself, let me know how they turn out!

Sweet Potato Cupcakes:
Makes 18 – 24 cupcakes
2 cups mashed and cooled sweet potatoes, or one 16-ounce can
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
Cinnamon sugar, if desired

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a few cupcake tins with paper liners.
2) In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger and nutmeg. In a large bowl, whisk together the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and eggs. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients and then the sweet potato puree.
3) Fill cupcake tin cup three-quarters full of batter. Bake until the tops spring back when touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean — 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool.
4) Once cooled, frost the cupcakes with the frosting, top with candied pecans, and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Brown Sugar Frosting:
Frosts 18 – 24 cupcakes
One 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
2 sticks butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar
4 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1) Beat the cream cheese until creamy. Add the butter and beat until well incorporated.
2) Add the light brown sugar and beat until fluffy, then stir in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating until combined. Add the vanilla extract until fully incorporated.

Candied Pecans:
Makes four cups
Canola/vegetable oil, for greasing
1 egg white
4 teaspoons water
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound chopped pecans

1) Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Grease a baking sheet with oil.
2) Beat the egg white in a bowl until frothy, then whisk water and the vanilla extract into the egg.
3) Stir the sugar, cinnamon and salt into the egg mixture, then stir in the chopped pecans until they’re fully coated.
4) Spread the pecans onto the baking sheet and bake in 20 minute intervals, stirring the pecans before placing them back in the oven. Continue baking for about an hour.
5) Allow the pecans to cool on the baking sheet.

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Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Carrots and Chickpeas

It’s literally impossible not to love Central Park in fall. (It’s also literally impossible not to get “Danke Schoen” stuck in my head when I hear the phrase “Central Park in fall.”)

Yes, autumn is upon us. In fact, we got a sneak peek of winter the other day when it snowed. In October. It’s time to eat lots and lots of warm orange foods and put cinnamon on everything. Which is what I did the other day when I roasted up these veggies.

I assure you, the smell is better than a Yankee Candle.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Carrots and Chickpeas
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 carrots, peeled and cubed
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

1) Toss all ingredients in a large bowl.
2) Spread on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.

Safe ‘n’ Sound

I could tell you all about the 11 hour train ride I took from Raleigh to DC. Or the equally long flights from DC to London to Munich (cumulatively). Or how it’s been 60 degrees and raining all day.

Yes, I could tell you about all of those travel tragedies, but those stories would detract from the pure bliss I’ve derived from the following: spending time with excellent and generous hosts in DC and Munich, evading Icelandic volcano eruption #2 (unlike #1), learning German from a three year-old, being picked up from the Munich airport in a Porsche convertible, eating two-hour-long dinners with my family, having a floor of the house to myself, and finding out that I can still have an iPhone while I’m here. You know, the little things in life.

I plan to cook again in the very near future, promise. Last time I was here, I introduced my hostess to southern North American cuisine, in a food movement I called “Southern Germany, Meet the Southern USA.” I’m looking forward to continuing that same movement, particularly now that I’ve confirmed the presence of sweet potatoes in this country.

Any suggestions for what southern/American foods I should cook for my family?

Sweet Potato Biscuits

The summer after high school graduation, two of my dearest friends and I made a choice: to live together at the beach before college divided us. (Well, that’s overly dramatic; my roommate for my first two years at UNC was one of my summer sisters.) Our lives could’ve been torn straight out of a Sarah Dessen book, sans the car accidents and messy relationships.

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Sweet Potato Fries

As I mentioned previously, I paired my crab cakes and pesto aioli with a side of sweet potato fries. For some strange reason, the food I most craved and missed while in London was sweet potato fries, a need that I have since satisfied on far too many occasions. These suckers are subtly sweet and highly addictive, especially with that aioli. I also aspire to dip them in a Buns-style chipotle mayo some time in the near future. Yes, I have big dreams. Big ole’ sweet potato dreams.

I should probably mention that these fries aren’t. Fried, that is. My pantry’s lack of vegetable/canola oil aside, I just can’t bring myself to fill up one of my pots with an obscene amount of oil that will inevitably end up all over our still-relatively-clean kitchen. My friend burned down her kitchen in a French Fry Frying Incident, so I just can’t take that chance.

Sweet Potato Fries:
two to three large sweet potatoes
olive oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
ground sea salt & black pepper to taste
Trader Joe’s everyday seasoning, if you have it

1) Slice potatoes into French fry-like pieces, trying to keep them as uniform as possible.
2) In a bowl, toss the potatoes with a few tablespoons of olive oil and the spices.
3) Arrange potatoes in a thin layer on a baking sheet.
4) Bake at 425 degrees for about 40 minutes in the middle of the oven. Crank up the heat to 475 degrees and move the rack to the top of the oven. Bake for another 5 or so minutes, until crispy on the outside.

You probably ought to double or triple this recipe, while you’re at it. They won’t last long.