One reason I don't ever want to be without this cookbook is that it contains a recipe for the holiday dish titled, simply, "Sweet Potatoes" contributed by a Mrs. Ann Gardner Gray. Mrs. Gray's combination of mashed sweet potatoes, butter, crushed pineapple and marshmallows, topped with coconut, gets me every time.
Another favorite recipe is Mix-N-Match Sweet Bread or Breakfast/Snack Muffins and comes from Deborah Taylor-Hough's book, Frozen Assets. In a later previous life, I was a personal chef and referred to this book often for ideas and foods that could be prepared ahead of time and frozen. If you're looking for a go-to muffin or quick bread recipe [do me a favor and please don't call it sweetbread(s) because that is not something that ever belongs in a muffin], this is your lucky day. As the title implies, it's a basic formula to which you can add your favorite ingredient, be it fruit, chocolate chips, nuts, etc., and mix it up!
So, I'd been thinking for a long time that the sweet potato casserole flavors belonged in a muffin. Then the family of my brother Ben's sweetie, the lovely Elyse, gifted me with some Virginia-grown sweet potatoes and pecans from their farm. These are pictures of the actual produce. Aren't they pretty?
Okay, they're not as pretty as Elyse, but they're not bad either.
Now, it seemed, the sweet potato casserole-in-a-muffin's time had come. And lucky for you (unlike the unfortunate pepperoni omelet incident of 1982), this time I was right! Totally, spot-on, 100%, bullseye. The resultant blended recipe is below and when you make them, gratification will be instant and sweet, as soon as those babies come out of the oven. The cinnamon and sweet potatoes' aroma will have already tempted, and let me tell you, they don't lie. When you pull one apart and melted marshmallow droops across your finger, just go for it -- crunchy pecans, tangy pineapple and sweet potato goodness all merge into one fabulous mouthful. Luckily, the recipe is also generous so when you eat 3 of them right away, no one will know because there are 15 more.
Sweet Potato Mix-N-Match Muffins
3 C all-purpose flour
1 t salt
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
3 t cinnamon
1 C sugar
1 C brown sugar
Sift or mix together all dry ingredients. Then add remaining ingredients below and stir gently, only until incorporated.
3/4 C oil
3 t vanilla
2 C mashed sweet potato
1 C crushed pineapple
1/2 C roughly chopped pecans
1-1/2 C mini marshmallows
Spoon into 18 standard muffin cups and bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until tops are springy.
I hope you all have a great weekend, whether you're shopping, baking for friends and family, or kicking back in front of a warm fire or holiday movie.