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Thursday, October 22, 2009

"For Little Tummies"- Sweet Potato Cuppy Cakes

At 'E's pre-school,parents take turns to provide snacks for all the children.The school has certain guidelines for the snacks like...should include whole grains,protein, fruits etc.It's not a compulsion to stick to these guidelines....but be as close as possible.Every 15-20 days,it's my turn to provide the snacks.Last time,I provided some Indian snacks (small sized mix veggie parathas and mini idlis with carrots, and for fruit-watermelon) on the teachers suggestion.She said its good to introduce different tastes at this age and get to know different cultures.The kids did try the Indian food....but the 'garlic' 'cumin and other spices..were 'little' too different for them.
This time I decided to stick with what they are comfortable with. I baked a batch of 'Sweet Potato' muffins.It was the first time I tried these and I was happy with the outcome.
Because the sweet potato is naturally sweet, less sugar need to be added to the muffin batter . Also, the sweet potato released all the juices while baking and the made the muffins nice and moist from within.While the crust was caramelized because of the brown sugar.
I also added some 'Ricotta' cheese to the batter (I see Giada, on Food Network, add that to many of her cake recipes).
I did not use 'Whole wheat' flour though....firstly I still haven't mastered baking with 'whole wheat flour' and secondly I did not want to mess up the recipe.
So "E' and his friends are going to have Sweet Potato cuppy cakes, Cheddar cheese and grapes for tomorrows snack! Anyone wants to join'em?
•6 tablespoons butter, softened
•2/3 cup sugar
•2 eggs
•1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•2 cup sifted all-purpose flour
•1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
•1 teaspoon cinnamon
•1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
•1/2 teaspoon salt
•2/3 cup evaporated or regular milk
•1 1/2 cups peeled finely shredded sweet potato
•2/3 cup sliced almonds /walnuts/pecans
•1tbsp Ricotta cheese
•1tbsp light brown sugar
•1 tsp light brown sugar for sparkling on top
•Sliced almonds for decoration

1)In a large mixing bowl with hand-held electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar(both white and light brown) until light and fluffy.
2)Beat in egg,Ricotta cheese and vanilla until well blended.
3)In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Stir into the butter mixture alternately with milk, mixing just until dry ingredients are moistened.
4)Stir in sweet potato and chopped nuts.
5)Spoon batter into greased muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full. Sprinkle some sliced almonds and light brown sugar.
6)Bake at 375° for 25 to 30 minutes, or until centers spring back when pressed with fingertip.
7)Cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and serve muffins warm. Makes about 16 sweet potato muffins.

I glazed some of the muffins with 'simple' glaze and they tasted delicious.
Add 1tsp melted butter + 2tbsp powdered sugar+few drops of water.Mix well.Drizzle on the cooled muffins and let dry.
Enjoy the sweet, moist and tender muffins with occasional crunch of the almonds!

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