Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Welcome back! It’s almost actual Autumn weather, so let’s celebrate with something tasty.
To ease back into baking at Swarthmore, I decided to begin with these Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Cookies. I always like baking with sweet potatoes, because they lend an unexpected flavor and something exciting to food. These cookies are a lot easier to deal with than the sweet potato pies I’ve made previously.
They taste pretty similar to pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, but are more adventurous–people aren’t used to sweet potato as a sweet ingredient. And (for all you vegans, and lactose-intolerants) they’re also dairy free.
This recipe is originally from Joy the Baker Cookbook, by Joy Wilson, with some minor changes of my own.
1 cup of mashed sweet potato (buy either a few small ones or two medium potatoes)
2 cups of flour
1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder
1-1½ teaspoons of baking soda
1- 1½ teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 – ½ teaspoons of ground coriander
2 large eggs
1 cup of brown sugar (pack it down in the cup)
½ cup of vegetable oil
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
Chocolate chips (use your best judgment, probably about a little more than a cup)
To begin, you can either put on the new The Mountain Goats album, or listen to Ke$ha’s new single over and over again. They’re both great choices that will force you to face your own mortality.Now you’re in the right mindset.
1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
2. Pierce the sweet potatoes with a fork a bunch of times before putting them in the oven. Bake the potato.
The key to these is baking the potato way before you actually want to make the cookies. It takes about 45 minutes to an hour to become soft enough, so remember to factor that into your baking time.
3. When you can easily stab all of the potatoes, take them out of the oven. Let them cool for a while.
4. Turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees.
5. Next, mix together your dry ingredients.
This means the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and coriander. I played around a little bit with how much of the spices I put in. I am a huge cinnamon fan, so I put in a little more than is in the original recipe. (I also put in too much baking soda, but that was by accident. They turned out fine, though! Nobody panic.)
6. At this point, the sweet potatoes should be cool enough to handle, so peel off the skin with your hands. It should come off easily if it’s baked enough. Peel it! Then mash the sweet potatoes up with a fork or spoon.
7. In a different bowl, mix together the eggs and brown sugar for a while.
The original recipe recommended using a whisk, but I don’t know even a single person who owns a whisk. A fork or a spoon is fine. The mixture should end up thicker and pale.
8. Add in the oil and the vanilla extract.
It’s okay if it doesn’t look totally homogenous.
9. Fold in the sweet potatoes.
Again, it won’t look totally even, but just get it as equally distributed and mixed in as you can while still being pretty gentle with the mixture.
10. Pour the sweet potato mixture into the dry ingredients.
11. Fold it all together until it look pretty even, but don’t overdo it.
12. Add in the chocolate chips! Eat a bunch from the bag too, you’ve earned it.
13. Put your parchment paper on your baking sheets.
This dough is pretty sticky, so having the parchment paper, or at least spraying a sheet with some nonstick spray, will definitely be helpful.
14. Make the cookies as large as you want to.
I did a variety of sizes, and they all cooked through pretty well.
15. Bake for about 10 minutes.
I waited until the bottoms of the cookies were browned slightly, but you could also fork/ toothpick test them.
While the cookies bake, you could clean up your kitchen, or watch the new One Direction music video a few times through. Deconstruct the boy band image and the place of tween girls in society with regards to the patriarchy.
16. Let the cookies cool.
They have a really cake-y consistency, which initially surprised people, but they got used to it.
Give these out or hoard them, as per usual. These got a really great reception all around.
Thanks for reading! Let me know if you end up making these, or if you have requests for future columns.