Feeling Better

Although there has been no cold weather to usher in the holidays, I was blessed with the first of the season head cold this week.  Orange juice, Sudafed, a day on the couch and two boxes of Kleenex later I am feeling better.   The sure sign of being on the mend…I was in the kitchen baking tonight when I got home from work, I mean it had almost been a week since I was in the kitchen and I was going through withdrawl!

I wanted something that was quick, yummy and required only ingredients I had on hand.  I was leaning toward muffins when I flipped to the Pumpkin Bread recipe in the Tartine Cookbook.  I didn’t have pumpkin but I had cooked sweet potato, soooo, Sweet Potato Quick Bread it was.  This was actually very fun to make, the perfect quick fix for both my desire to bake and still have some relaxing time before bed.  The batter came together fast and I didn’t even use a mixer, I felt like I was in my own little “quick fire challenge”, creating, mixing and cleaning in about 15 minutes.

This bread is really lovely.  Very subtle in flavor and not too sweet with a dense, moist crumb.  I think it would make great muffins next time.  Make sure not to over bake, it took about an hour at 325 and it seemed like it was taking forever, be patient.  There is still a little left over and I just had a bite with my morning coffee, it has improved with age.

Sweet Potato Tea Bread (adapted from Tartine)

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking spice (I have Penzi’s)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup vegetable oil
1  cup sugar
2 tablespoons bourbon
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs (at room temperature)
2 tablespoons sugar for topping
3 tablespoons chopped toasted walnuts

Preheat oven to 325.  Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and line with parchment.

Sift flour and the rest of the dry ingredients together, set aside.  Whisk together the sweet potatoes, oil, and sugar till smooth and completely incorporated.  Add the eggs one at a time and mix together completely.  Fold in the dry ingredients in 2 additions.  Don’t over mix.  Pour into pan and sprinkle the top with the extra sugar and walnuts.  Bake for almost an hour, checking and rotating every 20 minutes.  Knife should come out clean when tested.

Cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then lift our using the parchment onto a cooling rack and cool completely.  This cake will keep at room temperature in an air tight container for up to 5 days.

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