A Baking Relapse

I did it. I caved in to the sweet temptress of baking. Well…not fully, you see, since what I baked is semi-healthy. Even if there is a delectable amount of brown sugar in this recipe, the quinoa and sweet potatoes erase those calories, right? And the streusel is just a topping, so of course that doesn’t count! Meanwhile, while you are reading this you are meant to be nodding along with everything that I have written (just to save me from my downward spiral into sugary oblivion).

While doing my routine perusal of everything delicious on Tastespotting I came across this recipe for sweet potato muffins from Princess in the Kitchen. Today has been an oddly unscheduled day and I really cannot begin doing anything that academics label as productive until I have done something creative (an extremely important productive affair!). Thus, baking has returned to apartment 17! These little gems smell like gold while they are baking sending my entire apartment back to autumn with the hints of cinnamon and nutmeg that filled the air.

I altered the original recipe a little bit, most likely making it less healthy, by using real butter and milk as well as AP flour, rather than whole wheat (simply because I don’t have any stocked). The 1:1 substitution worked out well and the muffins turned out deliciously. They are denser muffins because of the sweet potato and quinoa, but if you have a really great folding technique then perhaps yours will turn out fluffier than mine! I also created a pecan streusel, rather than almond, just so that I could elevate these muffins even further into autumnal bliss.

Spiced Sweet Potato Muffins with Pecan Streusel – makes 12 muffins (adapted from Princess in the Kitchen) 

1 cup sweet potato (diced); 1 tablespoon butter; 1 tablespoon brown sugar; 1 1/4 cup flour; 3/4 cup brown sugar; 3/4 cup cooked quinoa; 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon; 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg; 1 teaspoon baking powder; 1/2 teaspoon salt; 1/2 cup milk; 2 teaspoons vanilla extract; 4 tablespoons butter (melted)

Streusel

1/3 cup pecans (finely chopped); 1/4 cup raw sugar; 2 teaspoons flour; 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon; 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg; 2 tablespoons butter (melted)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Boil water and cook sweet potato cubes for 10-12 minutes, or until tender.

Meanwhile, prepare streusel.

Mix all ingredients together until mixture is crumbly.

When sweet potatoes are cooked, drain and let cool slightly. Mash with 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon brown sugar. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg until well combined. In a larger bowl, beat together the mashed sweet potato, eggs, brown sugar, vanilla. melted butter and milk until smooth.

Gradually add the flour in small batches, and mix gently until combined. Fold in cooked quinoa.

Spoon batter into greased or lined muffin tins. Top each muffin with streusel and bake for 20-25 minutes, or when a toothpick comes out clean.

Allow to cool 5-10 minutes in tins before placing on a wire rack.

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