29 April 2009

Sweet Potato Pecan Muffins, and other adventures in baking.

So I posted on Twitter/Facebook the other day that I was making Sweet Potato - Pecan muffins. And suddenly (ok, maybe it took a few hours) I had a flurry (ok, it was two) requests for the recipe. Hey, that's a lot of feedback for me, so excuse me if I got excited. I'm easily excited.

Anyway, the recipe is from my The Joy of Cooking cookbook, which I (and by I, I mean we, GeekDad and I) got for our wedding from our friends Dan and Gail. Actually, they're really friends via the in-laws, but regardless, they are great people. Plus they helped out tons with the wedding, so we would owe them big time, even if they hadn't given me (us) an awesome cookbook. Which it is. The Joy of Cooking is like a how-to guide for almost anything you can imagine. Want step-by-step instructions on making pickles? How to plan a backpacking menu? Brine meat? It's all in there and then some, man.

Anyway, I've been drooling over this cookbook for awhile, but this is the first recipe I've made. And it was all I hoped it would be.

So it starts with a basic muffin recipe. I don't know if the people at Joy of Cooking will care that I am posting their recipe (modified by me). If they do, I figure they can let me know, and I'll take it down. So here goes.

Whisk in one bowl:
2 c. flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
*1/3 c.sugar (I used white sugar here)
*1 tsp. cinnamon
*1 tsp. ginger

*These are the alterations to the basic recipe, which called for 1/4 tsp. nutmeg. I switched out ground ginger for the nutmeg and increased the amount, but my ginger wasn't very fresh, so it wasn't as prominent as I'd hoped. I think I need fresher ginger for my next batch.

In another smaller bowl, whisk together:
1 c. milk (or cream if you don't care about muffin hips)
2 large eggs
2/3 c. sugar (I used demerara here)
1/3 c. canola oil (You can use whatever oil or butter here, up to half a cup. The cookbook suggests that is you are making them to last more than a couple of days, you should use more oil/butter, to keep them from drying out.)
1 tsp. vanilla
*1 c. mashed sweet potato (In my case, it was a can of sweet potato puree. Because with a baby, I just do not have time to make sweet potatos and then mash them just for muffins. However, if you happened to make sweet potato anyway, and then happened to have leftovers, this would be a fabulous use for them.)

Then you mix the wet ingredients into the dry, being careful NOT to overmix. The batter should still be lumpy. After a couple of swipes, I added about a 1/2 c. of pecan pieces, and then finished mixing.

The muffins were good - moist, not too sweet, and with a bit of crunch.

For my next batch, I might add some crystallised ginger, because I love the chewy bite of it, and because in my mind, you can never have too much ginger. I might also leave in the nutmeg, because I like baking spices. The more the merrier, in my opinion. Also, if you wanted to fancy them up a bit, you could put a crumb topping on them, with a little brown sugar, butter, flour, cinnamon, and maybe some finely chopped pecans.

In case you're wondering about the wrappers, they are Wilton brand silicone cupcake/muffin tines, available from Michaels. They come in other shapes and colours, but the triangle-shaped pink and purple ones were on sale for $4.99, instead of the regular $16.99, which is why I have them. You simply put them on a cookie sheet, fill with batter, and bake.

I was quite impressed with these, actually. They baked up nicely, even though I filled them a bit over the fill line that is marked on the inside. They gave the muffins a nicely browned bottom, as you can see.

And they're reusable, which is cool, ecologically speaking.

These muffins are tasty, and you know what. THEY COUNT AS VEGETABLES. Seriously, how much better can you possibly get??!!!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Dawn!
    I made these muffins today, and they are delicious! I have to go to a pot luck tonight, so for 1 batch (I made 2!)I made them into little mini muffins, and iced them up all pretty-like. I think the icing negates all the good of the sweet potato, but who cares! They are super yummy!

    Thanks again!