Remember when I said, a few weeks back, that I was going to embrace winter and its winteriness this year in order to save myself the heartache of pining for spring? And the cabin fever? Boy, am I ever glad I chose this year for that intention, because it has been the Winter to End All Winters.
People, this is a 5′ snowbank at the end of the driveway. There is nowhere else to put it–I’d like it to be smaller so I can see if there are cars coming when I pull out (in a white car, too-I feel like an artic fox that manages to blend into its surroundings), but the other piles are only slightly smaller. We got another foot of snow last night, so this is just how it is. And I’m ok with that. I won’t even start to tell you about yesterday’s cabin fever, which led to a mid-day trip to Trader Joe’s and an evening trip to one of our town’s 450 burger joints. But other than that (and I did well–veggie burger, beer, half my sweet potato fries), I’m keeping the winter crazies at bay. Or, I’m trying. Today almost pushed me over the brink, mainly out of shoveling exhaustion.
So I made these. These are the most delicious, spice-filled, moist, fantastic muffins ever (and it’s not just the sleepiness talking). They are a modification of the recipe for Sweet Potato Muffins found in Kim Boyce’s Good to the Grain, a wonderful baking book filled with unusual flour suggestions, that I took out of the library. The key to these muffins is leaving half the sweet potatoes in chunks and mashing the other half–you get bursts of yummy flavor throughout.
Here’s how I did it–again, adapting a recipe–
First, peel 3/4 pound sweet potatoes. Chunk. Put in steamer basket and cook until completely tender, about 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Using a liquid measuring cup, measure 1 c milk. Add 1 T white vinegar. This is a buttermilk substitution. You want it to sit at least five minutes.
In the bowl of a mixer, add 1/2 stick of butter, cut into small sections, 1/4 c dark brown sugar, 2 T white sugar, and 2 T honey. Turn to high for a few minutes until creamy. Add 1 egg and beat until smooth. Add half your potato, beat again until fairly incorporated. Chop the remaining taters into smallish chunks.
Mix together 2 c whole wheat flour, 1 T cinnamon, 1/2 t nutmeg, 1/4 t allspice, 1 t baking powder, 1/2 t baking soda, 1/2 t salt (maybe a little more–I’d make it 3/4 next time). Add to your mixer, mix a bit.
Add 1/2 c plain yogurt to your ‘buttermilk’ and mix up. Add to mixer, and mix well.
Add 1/3 c or so of dried cranberries. Mix.
Add remaining sweet potatoes. Mix gently, as you want the chunks to stay.
Divide between the twelve wells of a muffin tin (I have given up on paper liners, by the way, which seem to stick to everything lately–instead I greased mine with the wrapper of a stick of butter–I keep a stash in the freezer). Bake 35-40 minutes, rotating once during baking. And try not to eat one as soon as it comes out of the oven–you won’t be able to! Faaaaantastic.
They’re about 176 calories, with 5 grams of fat, 5 grams of protein, and 3 grams of fiber. Yum! Two will make a perfect breakfast with a strong cup of coffee.