There is one thing about Thanksgiving I can get behind, though. Pie. Especially of the squash and nut variety. Pumpkin and pecan are my favourites - I cannot get enough of them this season. Lately, though, I've been trying to experiment. Butternut and acorn squash pies are amazing this time of year. I also delved into my Canadian heritage and looked into butter tarts (which, if you haven't experienced, it is a must). This year, however, I took a note out of an American thanksgiving cookbook.
I can't say I ever understood the whole 'yam and marshmallow' thing. Is it a dessert? Is it a side dish? And who the heck thought it was a good idea? I really don't think they had marshmallows in colonial Plymouth. This year I really tried to understand candied yams - but I couldn't get past the sweet marshmallowy mess. So I did what I do best - and changed it into a cupcake. Cupcakes make everything better.
Mashed yams make this cake incredibility moist, but not enough to take away the wonderful light and cakey texture. It carries the spice flavour well - you can taste every bit of freshly ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and mace . You could eat the cake by itself, I promise you, but we decided to top it with a traditional marshmallowy topping. Our fluffy seven minute frosting did the trick - especially when we sprinkled a little extra cinnamon-sugar and topped it with a candied pecan.
So, if you in the mood for a bit of a non-traditional Thanksgiving, give these bad-boys a try. And, if you happen to like them, let us know! We'll be entering them into this month's Mystery Box Challenge. What better orange ingredient to use than the seasonal and bright yam? Nothin', I tell ya. Nothin'. Voting begins October 20th, and the prizes this month are once again pretty super. They include:
- Angela's Images; a selection of handmade crafts
- Bake It Pretty; a $5 electronic gift card
- Beanilla; 2-fold Madagascar vanilla extract & 3 Tongan vanilla beans
- Hello Hanna; a pack of Sweet Stands cupcake stands
- Lisa Orgler; an 8.5"x11" original art print of your choice
- Miss Kitty Creations; a handmade cupcake charm of your choice
- Sweet Cuppin Cakes; a prize pack worth $25
- Tundra Books; a selection 3 very sweet children's books
Candied Yam Cupcakes with Marshmallowy Seven-Minute Frosting
Makes 12 Cupcakes
1 pound yams, boiled and mashed (about 1 cup)
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
a pinch finely grounded mace
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1) Preheat oven to 325F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and mace. Set aside.
2) In a large bowl with an electric mixer, whip together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until fully incorporated. Beat in mashed yams and vanilla.
3). With a wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture slowly until just incorporated. Divide batter evenly between cupcake liners and bake for about 28 minutes (or until your cake tester comes out clean). Set out to cool before icing.
Marshmallowy Seven-Minute Frosting
1/4 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1) In heatproof bowl, whisk together the water, sugar, egg whites, cream of tartar and salt. Set the bowl over saucepan of simmering water and beat constantly until mixture holds stiff peaks (about 5 to 7 minutes).
2) Remove from saucepan. Beat until frosting is cooled, about 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla extract. Pipe onto the cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar and decorate with candied pecan. Enjoy.
Not a big fan of Thanksgiving? These can also make wicked Halloween cupcakes. Boo!