It was hard to narrow down what we love for this week's theme. Scarlett and I chatted at length about what we enjoy making and, of course, eating. Things like breakfast for dinner, mac and cheese, cookies, cupcakes, noshie dinners consisting of a lot of little things, cupcakes, quesadillas, cupcakes. I guess it was more obvious than I thought.
As much as I wanted to make red velvet cupcakes (they're my all-time favorite), I couldn't bring myself to use red food coloring. I also couldn't find the beet juice. I'm now determined to make a healthy version that doesn't require everyone running out and getting a juicer. In the meantime, while these don't look particularly Valentine's day-ish, they taste damn good.
Graham Sweet Potato Muffins
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 sweet potato, peeled and grated
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup agave syrup
3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 (6-ounce container) plain nonfat yogurt
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), at room temperature
8 oz container of cream cheese, at room temperature
2 — 3 cups of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375 and place cupcake liners in cupcake tin. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, crumbs, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add grated sweet potato and mix until coated.
In another bowl, whisk together butter and yogurt. Add eggs one at a time, blending each thoroughly. Add agave and vanilla extract. Add flour and sweet potato mix and combine. Spoon batter into cupcake liners. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center is removed clean.
Cool and then frost with cinnamon cream cheese frosting.
We made these the day before Scarlett's big Valentine's party in school. We shoe-horned mixing up these little spicy bundles courtesy of a Whole Foods recipe that I added a homemade frosting to betweeen assembling 25 teeny Valentine loot boxes and signing cards. When I lived alone in New York City and had no boyfriend in my 20s, I hated Valentine's Day a lot. My feelings today towards it make that look like a school crush. (I'm joking, but why, oh, why do children need to celebrate with a million princess cards?)
Poor Scarlett, normally game for baking, just wanted to lay on the f loor. (I believe she actually did that for a bit.) Then she grated the sweet potato and mixed the dry ingredients before going back to her assembly line of Valentines. (She's such a good sport and hard worker.)
One of her favorite kitchen gadgets is the hand mixer. I swear she hears the drawer I keep it in open from across the house. As soon as I was ready to make the frosting, she was right there. Pushed out of the way, I fiddled with the finished cupcakes. (Read: Ate one.) Scarlett enlisted help from our mother's helper, AC, who I'm sure wished her three hours was up.
The frosting was so spicey and delicous I didn't give a fly that these weren't red velvet. Scarlett gobbled one down before school and licked the mixing paddles clean of frosting. I think we just fell in love again…