Sweet Potato Muffins
November 10, 2010 5 Comments
I am, generally, an organized person. It may not seem like it if you were to look at my desk, but I always know exactly where things are (likely because I’m an only child and there was no one around to move something once I put it somewhere), I rarely lose things and I can pretty much remember details of where I need to be without writing them down. I say all of this to tell you that I rarely do more than glance at information, because I rely (overly so) on my ability to absorb it quickly and remember it. Fortunately for me, I show up where I’m supposed to be 9 times out of 10, so I’ve had little need to reconsider my methods. But that 10th time? That 10th time will always be when it truly truly counts. The biggest “slip up” I’ve made was when I was supposed to get sworn in to the Illinois bar. Weeks prior to the swearing in, the bar people sent a letter listing where you needed to go based on where in Illinois you lived. For Chicago, it was McCormick Place on XYZ day at 2:30pm. Done. I alerted relatives and friends and threw the paper into a pile.
The appointed day arrived and I put on my new lawyer suit and went into work. I told the partners that I’d have to leave around 2pm and wouldn’t be coming back for the day since a celebration at a Cuban restaurant was to follow. I vaguely wondered why none of my classmates were around that morning, but I realized that they were probably smart and took the whole day off for this big event. 2pm rolls around and I pull out the letter so I could get the name of the room where the swearing in was supposed to be held. And what do I see? The Chicago ceremony had started at 11:30. My heart skipped a beat as I realized that I had just missed getting sworn in and I had no idea what that meant (these bar people are no joke. To even take the exam you have to jump through so many hoops that I figured that they’d punish me in some way for missing it). Tears, frantic phone calls and a speeding taxi ride followed. I arrived at McCormick Place to see the janitors sweeping up left over flower petals and locking the doors to the auditorium. My well-wishers arrived to find me sitting on the floor crying with nothing to show for the day but that crumpled letter. You’ll be happy to know that I was able to be sworn in by a judge a few weeks later, but, while I still believe in my abilities, few people trust me to tell them where they need to be and when any longer.
This story has nothing to do with food other than to lead into another example of how I get something in my head and completely think it’s right and there’s no need for me to double check or think about it again. Basically, I ended up making sweet potato muffins when, up to the minute I was about to put the sweet potato in the microwave, I thought I was making pumpkin muffins. A coworker had given me a recipe for–the way I remembered it–pumpkin muffins a few years ago and given the autumn weather, I thought they’d be a happy treat. I could even see the picture of the muffins in my head from the printout she gave me, but couldn’t find the recipe online and she didn’t remember it (likely because we were searching for a completely different recipe). I finally found it this weekend when I cleaned out a folder full of dashed cooking dreams, with magazine recipes dating back to 1996. I glanced at the recipe to make sure I had the ingredients, made out my grocery list and crafted the story behind the muffins based on the pumpkin picking I did a few weekends ago. It was not until I was washing off the potato last night that it occurred to me that I was actually making sweet potato muffins instead of pumpkin ones. How’s that for the power of suggestion (or my ability to kid (delude?) myself)? Even though I bought sweet potatoes, I still had it in my mind that these were all about the pumpkin… At least my efforts weren’t totally lost and I actually had the sweet potato. And! I was right about the picture, so my long term memory seems to be fully functioning. I take comfort wherever I can get it.
Anyhoo. They’re super yummy and moist and the cinnamon sugar coating is a nice addition, although I suppose if you want to be super healthy about it, you could leave it off. And, I also suppose you could substitute pumpkin if your mind’s set on it…
Warm Sweet Potato Muffins with Cinnamon Sugar Coating (courtesy of Cuisine at Home)
- 2-1/2 cups all purpose flour (here again we have a little Heather slip up, but this time I like the end result. I accidentally calculated 2-1/2 cups to 6 ounces, which really makes no sense at all, but it made for very light and fluffy goodness, so I’m sticking with it. Normally, 2-1/2 cups is 10 ounces, which would yield a denser muffin)
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking power
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt (I used kosher salt)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I used pumpkin spice)
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1/2 cup SWEET POTATO puree (from 1 baked potato)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon (my addition)
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I used pumpkin spice)
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees; coat a muffin pan with nonstick spray (I used muffin cups).
Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and nutmeg together in a bowl. Blend buttermilk, milk, sweet potato puree, and vanilla together in a large cup with a pour spout.
Cream the stick butter and brown sugar together in a bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately stir dry and wet mixtures into the butter, starting and ending with the dry; do not overmix. Fill muffin cups 1/2 full and bake 25 minutes (Mine were done in 17, probably due to the decrease in flour) or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
Combine sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a shallow dish. When cool enough to handle, yet still warm, remove muffins from the pan, brush them completely with the melted butter, and roll in the sugar mixture to coat. Serve warm. Yield: 14