The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. ~ Psalm 16:6 nasb

Monday, March 25, 2013

Sweet Potato Muffins

I never thought to put the words potato and muffins together.  But some brilliant cook did.  And I have her to thank for it.

I'd really like to give credit where credit is due, but I can't remember where I got this recipe!  I searched online a few different places, to no avail.  I cut the recipe out of a magazine; the backside of the recipe has a story about Groundhog Day, but I couldn't find a catalog or date reference. 

If you've browsed my blog's recipes, you'll know that I do things from scratch as much as possible.  Well, the same goes for this particular recipe.  Please don't tell me if you're using canned sweet potatoes.  I don't think I could handle it.  ;)

I baked my sweet potatoes--I actually used organic garnet yams--in a covered stoneware dish in my oven for a little over an hour at 350 degrees.  Once they were soft, I let them cool, scooped out the pulp, mashed it with a pastry blender (easier to clean than a potato masher), and measured out the amount I needed for the recipe.  I used 5 small-ish yams and had a little bit left over--good enough to eat straight.  (Someone please tell me the difference between sweet potatoes and yams...)

I've made modifications for our own family's tastes and diet, and the recipe I'm sharing with you today has those modifications included.

Also, the original recipe's yield was 20-22 muffins, a rather strange amount.  I simply doubled the recipe and made larger muffins, so my yield is three dozen.  It worked out well, since I have two Pampered Chef nonstick muffin pans, plus one Pampered Chef stoneware muffin pan.  You could always bake two dozen muffins, and put the remaining batter in a bread loaf pan (or a mini loaf pan!).  Or, just bake the muffins in batches.

The batter, topped with cinnamon sugar.

I'm sure these freeze well, but that's something I'll have to try in the future.   You see, I made three dozen of these delicious muffins, one of which we ate for Saturday brunch.  The other two dozen I brought to church for our weekly potluck meal.  My men--especially my husband--argued that I should just bring hotdogs to church and leave the muffins for them.  I was tempted.

Sweet Potato Muffins

two sticks butter, softened
2 1/2 cups cane juice crystals (or sugar; you can also probably get away with using just 2 cups)
4 eggs (I use farm fresh from pasture-raised hens)
2 1/2 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes (or yams)
1/2 to 2/3 cup milk (I used homemade kefir and measured somewhere in-between)

Dry Ingredients (mix these up in a bowl, which I did the night before)
3 1/2 cups freshly milled soft wheat flour (use less if you're using white or store-bought)
4 teaspoons baking powder (I use Rumford aluminum-free)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon (I use spices from Penzeys)
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I grate mine from whole nutmeg; use a lot less if you do this!)

Options (I didn't use these)
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  (If you use dark muffin tins, lower the temperature to 350 degrees.  So says Pampered Chef.)  Cream the butter until light and fluffy.  Gradually add the cane juice crystals, beating on medium speed.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Stir in the sweet potatoes and milk (I just kept using my electric mixer).  Add in the dry ingredients, stirring until just moistened.  If you're using the raisins and pecans, fold them in now.  The pecans would be a nice touch on top of the muffins, if that floats your boat.  :)

Spoon the batter into greased muffin pans (I use coconut oil; you can also use muffin papers), filling about 2/3 full.  Sprinkle the tops with sugar and cinnamon.  (I mix two cups of cane juice crystals with two tablespoons of cinnamon and store it in a jar.)  The recipe says to sprinkle liberally.  I ditto that.

Bake for 18-25 minutes.  It's always best to use the shorter time, then add time as needed.  For my muffins, I baked for 18 minutes, then added a total of about six more minutes.  I had my oven at 350 degrees, too, so make sure you check your muffins!  Test for doneness with a cake tester or toothpick; it should come out clean.

Warm from the oven, with butter.  Fork needed.

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