Sweet Potato-Pecan Cookies

by Lori on January 4, 2011

To say that I missed my blog over the holidays is a bit of an understatement.  The month of December rushed in my front door with the same fervor and excitement as a school kid on a two-week break. Along with it came the usual 24-day task list with which to accomplish everything.  As if that wasn’t enough, I experienced the greatest period of writer’s block I’ve encountered in the past 9 months since I started this blog.  I quickly realized it was due to the overwhelming amount of orchestration it takes to bring about the symphony that seems to characterize the holidays.  Every part, needing to be played seamlessly, must be in tune otherwise the harmony is lost.  I could barely whistle a tune much less make any more room in my head or on my daily agenda to add cooking, photographing, editing of images, and uninterrupted time to write for a blog.  That would have required a Christmas miracle, and there’s only room for one of those.  

After a break of sorts, it feels good to be back.

So before too much time passes, I wanted to post this recipe for Sweet Potato Cookies that I made right after Thanksgiving and have been making ever since.  This cookie, and I say that very loosely, is loaded with baked, mashed sweet potatoes and is more like the the top of a muffin or a whoopie pie without filling.  After one bite, it’s pillowy, spicy interior accented by an orange glaze lures you like a Sirens song, eating more than you’d care to admit along the way.  And before you know it, you’re in the kitchen making another batch.

Sweet Potato-Pecan Cookies
Recipe adapted from this site

The first time I made these, I adjusted the spices to my liking.  Being fond of combining warm winter spices with orange, I added a little orange zest to the glaze as well but it can be omitted. 

2 1/2 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking soda
3 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon mace
8 ounces (2 sticks or 1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups well-mashed sweet potatoes
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 cup finely chopped pecans

Orange Glaze
2 cups confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon orange zest (optional)
2 tablespoons orange juice

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.  Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the unsalted butter and sugar.  Beat in the eggs, sweet potato, vanilla, and orange zest.  Gradually beat in the dry ingredients.  Stir in the pecans.

Using a medium-sized cookie scoop, drop batter onto silicone or parchment-lined baking sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart.  Bake in a 375 degree F oven for about 9 minutes.  Cool on racks and store in an airtight container.

For the glaze, add the powdered sugar, orange zest and juice into a small bowl and mix well.  Place approximately 1/2 teaspoon of glaze on each cookie.  The warmer the cookie, the more the glaze will spread.  I glaze when the cookies are cool to insure more of a frosting-like topping.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen January 5, 2011 at 11:56 pm

These sound delicious! Thanks for the recipe :)

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darcyeats January 6, 2011 at 1:35 am

I absolutely adore sweet potatoes…especially in baked goodies!These cookies look just scrumptious. Sweet potatoes+pecans+a hint of orange= perfection :)

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Lauren January 9, 2011 at 1:31 pm

These cookies sound awesome! I can't get enough sweet potatoes, and I'm all for including them in dessert :).

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Heidi January 20, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Do you make these with canned sweet potatoes or baked ones? I need to know because I am so going to make these!

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Lemons and Lavender January 20, 2011 at 6:03 pm

Jen, darcyeats and Lauren, thanks for visiting and commenting. These cookies do not disappoint and you will be hooked after one bite!

Heidi, I used sweet potatoes that I baked beforehand.

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