Tuesday, 10 February 2009
When I saw Susan V's vegetable love competition on her Fat Free Vegan blog I just had to enter. The competition details are here. My first attempt was a quinoa dish with little beetroot hearts but the shop I was going to buy some heart cookie cutters from decided to close for a week and my cardboard heart shape didn't work so well, it didn't look too pretty, and in all honesty didn't taste as great as I'd hoped it would either! So I scrapped that idea and started wracking my brains, what else could I do, I really wanted to do a dessert but I was not feeling too inspired.
This morning I remembered some sweet potatoes in the fridge, I have only ever had sweet potatoes in their savoury form, roast, crisps, mashed, in curry etc.. I've never tried, or really wanted to try sweet potatoes in their truly sweet incarnation. As I was pondering the sweet potatoes I decided that actually the texture might be quite good in a cookie.. hmm... cue a quick experiment before uni, this was my last chance to enter as by the time I got home there would be no light to take a picture! I quickly cooked my sweet potato in the microwave, I used a really small one as I only made one big cookie, in hindsight these cookies would work better smaller as the edges were the yummiest!
Sweet potato and almond cookies
1 heaped tablespoon of sweet potato puree
3 tablespoos of soy milk (almond milk would be great here)
1 teaspoon of almond extract
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of beet juice (I added this for colour and as you can see that didn't work so well, 1 T of soy milk could be substituted)
1 tablespoon of maple syrup
1/3 cup wholemeal flour
1/3 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup dried fruit sweetened cranberries
Preheat the oven to 177c or 350f. First mash the insides of a small sweet potato, I got a heaped tablespoon from mine, I slowly mixed in the soy milk a tablespoon at a time, then added the rest of the wet ingredients. In a separate bowl I sieved the flour and added the other dry ingredients. After incorporating the dry ingredients, add the wet and mix, I poured this onto a a cookie sheet (shaped into a heart later so don't worry, the dough is supposed to be runny!) as one giant cookie but as I said I think it would be better as smaller cookies, it didn't spread much. I baked mine for 12 minutes but smaller cookies will probably cook quicker so check them after 7.
Whilst the cookie was cooking I made some red marzipan hearts just cause I was going a little love heart crazy and hey, it's an almond cookie, and marzipan is always good! After the cookie was done I let it cool and cut it into a heart shape, after devouring the leftover edges and realising it was in fact not only edible but pretty yummy I felt quite proud of myself! I'm not sure if it was the almonds or the sweet potato but the texture of the cookie was the best oil/marg free cookie I've had yet, it was slightly crisp round the edge but still lovely and chewy, the cranberries added just the right amount of tang to a cookie which might have been slightly sickly without.
I have to show you another photo, whilst I was getting myself ready for uni my boyfriend found the marzipan hearts and made a little message for me... not strictly great for this post as it was made out of soyatoo and I'm not sure we could call that low fat!! but here it is, what a sweetheart <3
And finally here is the aftermath of the morning love heart themed baking special!