I decided to enter my very first recipe contest! I've never been able to do this before because professional chefs are typically excluded. This contest prohibits "full-time kitchen professionals." I only work 10-15 hours in our church kitchen and write a bi-weekly food column, so they said I was good to go. You'll have to pardon my newbie excitement, but...this blogging thing has opened up a whole new world! Since I'm just beginning my blog-journey, I've been constantly reading and following one blogger's favorite sites to another's, and so on and so on. I eventually get so far away from the original blog I was reading, that I have to start from the beginning. That's how I ran across the sweet potato contest at Sweetbytes. I've put my contest recipe entry for Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Brown Butter Frosting below. This recipe is a combination of two of my favorite things: cupcakes and brown butter. If you want to add a touch of crunch, try sprinkling the frosted tops with candied-spiced pecans.
Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Brown Butter Frosting
Yield: 24 cupcakes, 1 loaf, One 9x13 cake, or 48 mini cupcakes
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
3 Tbsp. honey
1 cup light brown sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup sweet potato baby food or canned sweet potatoes (drained & mashed) or 1 cooked & mashed sweet potato
2 cups white-whole wheat flour (or half whole wheat, half all-purpose)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cardamom or nutmeg
For the Brown Butter Frosting:
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
4 cups powdered sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners (or spray a loaf/cake pan with non-stick spray). Cream together the butter, honey, & brown sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla and the sweet potato. The batter might look curdled, but it will come together once the flour is added. While the mixer is off, add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, & cardamom/nutmeg. Mix on low speed until combined. Place batter in the cupcake liners, 3/4's full and bake for 10-15 minutes. Cool completely before frosting. For the frosting: melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until browned, about 4 minutes. Beat the cream cheese and pour the hot butter over it, on low speed. Turn up the speed and beat until smooth. Add the vanilla and salt, mixing to combine. Add the powdered sugar and beat until fluffy. Frost the cupcakes once they are completely cooled. These will keep in an air-tight container for up to 1 week.
Here's the recipe I like for Candied-Spiced Pecans (courtesy of Allrecipes.com). I add 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper to it for an extra kick.