>> Thursday, August 7, 2008
I hinted at these cookies a little while back. You must try these cookies. They're easy, delicious, and loaded with sweet potato. I don't feel guilty giving my kids an extra cookie when they beg for one because of all of the hidden sweet potato.
My 4 year old son will usually eat sweet potato without complaining, but my 2 year old little girl will no longer so much as look at sweet potato unless it's fried, and I don't do much frying. Sweet potato is such a nutrient packed vegetable that I use it a lot. Some facts about sweet potatoes: it's the richest low-fat source of vitamin E. Sweet potatoes are packed with complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, beta carotene, vitamin C and vitamin B6. It's also a good source of copper, potassium, and iron. That's a lot of good stuff in a little brown package! And sweet potatoes are, well, sweet, so they're easy to hide in foods. Try mixing a little mashed sweet potato into macaroni and cheese, taco meat, and spaghetti sauce. Your kids will never know the difference, and I think that it actually improves the flavor. (Take a look at the cookbook Deceptively Delicious for more hiding ideas.)
A few things before I give you the actual recipe. First, the cinnamon chips. They weren't in the original recipe, but it's an addition I made to make the cookies more appealing to the kids. They're great cookies without the cinnamon chips, but with the cinnamon chips they become kid magnets (and, yes, a little less healthy). The original recipe (that I changed a bit to suit our tastes) called for raisins. Raisins would be a wonderful addition to this cookie - especially in place of the cinnamon chips - but my 4 year old son won't touch anything with raisins in it. I've made peace with that and have moved on.
Second, these cookies are moist because of all of the sweet potato, and they seem to get moister overnight. My son and I like the moistness. My husband prefers them when they're fresh and not quite as moist (though he also seems to have no problem eating them when they're a few days old and at their moistest). When you store these cookies, make sure that you have a layer of parchment paper or something between the cookies or else they'll stick together and become one big lump of a cookie.
Last, I added a couple of tablespoons of flax meal for the first time with this last batch. I couldn't taste it and think that it's a good addition. I think that wheat flour could be substituted for some of the all-purpose flour to make it a little healthier - and the slight wheat flavor would probably be a nice addition. I haven't tried that yet, but I plan to with the next batch.
1-3 cups sweet potato, cooked** and mashed (I usually end up putting 3ish cups of mashed sweet potatoes in the cookies. If you use less, it would probably cut down on the moistness a bit.)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup margarine or butter, cold
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup quick cooking oatmeal
1 cup raisins (optional)
cinnamon chips to taste (optional)
2 TBSP flaxseed meal (optional)
Mix butter and sugar together. Add eggs and dry ingredients. Mix in mashed sweet potato and then any optional ingredients. Drop by teaspoonful onto a greased baking sheet (or use parchment paper without grease). Bake at 350 F for 10-12 min. Let cool completely and store in an airtight container.
**For those that aren't cooking inclined, there are lots of different ways you can cook your sweet potato. You can roast in the oven, unpeeled, at 425 F for about an hour or until tender when pierced with a fork. Or you can peel and boil or steam sweet potato chunks until tender. Or you can cut into small cubes and microwave the cubes with about a 1/3 cup of water in a microwave-safe container for about 12 min.