Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My Thanksgiving/Sweet Potato Bonanza...Part 2

Look at this little booger!  He and a bunch of his turkey friends sat on top of my Sweet Potato Pie Cupcakes.  I know it's after Thanksgiving and pretty much too late to make these (unless you are just obsessed with which case, make them- I won't judge), but they are too cute not to share.  They're basically 2 Oreos glued together with icing.  Candy corn for the tail and the little white tip of the candy corn for the beak.  Black sprinkles for the eyes (from my Halloween sprinkle collection).  A heart-shaped sprinkle for the gobble-thingy (from my Valentine's sprinkle collection).  I knew all those holiday sprinkles would come in handy someday.  A Whopper for the head and a Reese's Cup for the body.  How freaking adorable? 

A couple words of caution: I would highly suggest making these when it's NOT 80 degrees and humid as crap outside.  If you happen to live on the freaking Equator in Florida like me, work quickly and throw them in the fridge to set up overnight.  I also suggest that if you're going to put these on top of cupcakes to not put them on the cupcakes I gave you the recipe for.  The marshmallow icing is really...boingy?  It's not soft enough to hold these guys up.  I would use a softer icing- like cream cheese or a butterceam without marshmallow fluff in it.  All the little turkey dudes rose up out of the boingy icing and toppled over.  Anyway- they're really cute little decorations and would be totally fun to make with some kids.  I'm just going to give you the link to Our Best Bites for the instructions.  They explain it a lot better than I would be able to and there are better step-by-step photos. 

Now for part 2 of my ridiculous sweet potato obsession.  First, can I just say that I STILL had some leftover sweet potato casserole (recipe in just a sec) tonight?  I said "ugh, I'm sick of sweet potatoes" and put the rest of it in the pup's bowl to eat.  And then I proceeded to BAKE A SWEET POTATO and eat it for dinner.  There is something wrong with my brain.  

There's a story I've been told a few times by various family members about when I was a baby.  One day, Mom and Dad noticed the bottoms of my feet were orange.  They took me to the doctor and the doctor asked about my diet.  My parents told the doctor that I loved sweet potato baby food and ate a lot of it.  The doctor told them that was the problem.  I ate so many sweet potatoes that I turned ORANGE, people.  I'm afraid that's going to happen again.  Except now maybe it will look like a tan.  Which would be pretty awesome.  (Not sure if that story is true or not. I've been told this story a few times, and I've always believed it.  Now I see how ridiculous it sounds...hmmm.  Whatever.) 

So I was trolling Google Reader for a sweet potato dish before Thanksgiving- and believe me, there was no shortage of recipes for sweet potatoes.  Along with butternut squash, cranberry EVERYTHING (nasty), pumpkin EVERYTHING (yay!) and recipes for about 938039823927387 pies.  In the midst of all of that (and after starring about 938039827386 of those recipes), I found THIS.  I know it says "lightened up."  Please don't let that scare you away.  These were the best sweet potatoes I have ever had in my entire LIFE.  Seriously.  The recipe calls for coconut milk in the actual sweet potatoes.  Don't worry: it does NOT add coconut flavor, just creaminess.  There's also coconut in the topping, which I left out because I have a couple of family members who DESPISE coconut.  But I think it would be really tasty.  If you're allergic/one of those crazy people who pukes at the thought of coconut, you could always use regular milk or even sweetened condensed milk would be awesome. 

This recipe is now my total go-to sweet potato casserole.  I will never bake another one again.  It's that good.

OH.  And it has brown butter in it.  Just saying.
Lightened-Up Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato Layer
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/3 cup canned lite coconut milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp butter

Peel and chop sweet potatoes into 1 1/2 inch cubes. Add to a pot with cold water, then bring to a boil. Cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 20-30 minutes, then drain. While sweet potatoes are cooking, add butter to a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisking constantly, cook until little brown bits appear in the pan – about 4-5 minutes. Remove immediately from heat and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer (or a large bowl, using a hand mixer), add sweet potatoes. Add all remaining ingredients – sugar, syrup, spices, salt, vanilla extract, coconut milk and brown butter – and mix on low speed until combined about 30 seconds. Mix on medium speed for another 1-2 minutes, until potatoes are whipped. Spread in an oven-safe pan or dish. I used a casserole dish (I have no clue what size!).

Oatmeal Coconut Pecan Crumble
1/2 cup chopped unsalted pecans
1 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1 Tbsp flour
1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of salt
2 Tbsp butter, softened
1 cup of mini marshmallows


I forgot to take pictures.  I was too busy licking the saucepan that had the brown butter in it. 

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