Thursday, February 12, 2015

Orange-glazed Sweet Potato Bread (Or: You Can Never Have Too Many Desserts)

This past holiday season, my husband and I hosted a Christmas Day potluck at our house. Everyone brought all sorts of amazing food, from ChristmasTree Pastries to green bean casserole to corn pudding and more! My mom was in charge of candied sweet potatoes, and, since my parents were driving 5ish hours to come stay with us over the holidays, I figured she would make the dish once they got to our place. To my surprise, they showed up with coolers overflowing with pre-made food – including candied sweet potatoes! I then had a serious dilemma on my hands – what should I do with the extra sweet potatoes I had already bought? In true Cooks of Cake and Kindness fashion, I made another dessert!

This recipe was originally for cookies (see recipe here), but I soon got tired of waiting for each batch of cookies to bake (I had a lot of batter!). Solution: mini bread loaves!

2 cups well-mashed or pureed sweet potato (roughly 3 medium-sized sweet potatoes)
2.5 cups flour (I used about half all-purpose, half whole wheat)
2.5 tsp baking soda
2.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt (optional - I added only a dash)
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cup unsalted butter or margarine (or substitute 1/4 cup applesauce + 3/4 cup canola oil)
1.5 cups packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp finely grated orange rind (optional - I did not add orange rind)
1 cup chopped pecans (optional - I did not add nuts)

Glaze: 1 cup confectioner's sugar + 2 TBSP orange juice (adjust amount of liquid for desired consistency)

Heat oven to 400°F. Grease a baking sheet.

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, sweet potato, vanilla, and (optional) orange rind. Gradually mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients. (Optional: stir in pecans.)

To make cookies, drop the batter by heaping teaspoons onto a baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between – they will spread! Bake 12-15 minutes or until lightly brown and firm. This amount of batter should make about 6 dozen cookies.

If you get tired of too many cookie batches, as I did after 2 rounds of making cookies, grease 6 mini-loaf pans. Divide batter evenly among the pans and bake about 20 minutes (you should be able to bake all the loaves together at the same time) until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. In all, I made 2 dozen cookies and 4 mini-loaves.

For the glaze, mix the confectioner’s sugar and orange juice to desired consistency (you may need to increase the amount of both depending on how many cookies/mini-loaves are made). Glaze is best when applied to cookies or loaves when they are still warm. Note: I didn’t actually have confectioner’s sugar, and I didn’t really want to break out the food processor just for this step, so I used regular granulated sugar in the glaze. It wasn’t as smooth as it would have been, but it turned out okay and still tasted delicious!


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