We love sweet potatoes and always have them around, so when I saw the North Carolina Sweet Potato Sweet n’ Healthy Blogger Recipe Contest had a kid friendly category, I immediately knew I wanted to enter. Apolinaras and I may not have children yet, but we’re both big kids at heart and are all about Pixar movies and Disney World! I’m already looking forward to cooking with our future kiddos and wanted to create a healthy dessert that kids would have enjoy helping out with in the kitchen and look forward to eating. So, I decided it would be fun to make little smiling sweet potato dessert cups that kids could help decorate.
Well, most of them were smiling, but my personal favorite was this one that was sticking out its tongue!
These sweet potato cups were inspired by the bottom layer of my Mini Sweet Potato Cheesecakes. Although the cups contain cream cheese, they’re not nearly as heavy as cheesecake, and more like a light version of pumpkin pie filling, but with sweet potatoes! To make them, I just stirred together mashed sweet potatoes, cream cheese, maple syrup, an egg, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt. Then I scooped the batter into muffin cups and decorated them with dried cranberries, dried cherries, and pecans. The cups set up beautifully in the oven and we enjoyed the creamy treats after chilling them in the refrigerator. Since they only have a touch of added sugar with the maple syrup and less than 100 calories a pop, you can feel good about your little guys (or in my case, my one big kid!) enjoying them.
Sweet Potato Cups
2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed and pricked several times with a fork
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
A handful of edible decorations – dried cranberries, dried bing cherries, pecans, etc
Heat oven to 400˚F. Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and bake at 400˚F for 1 hour or until fork tender. Cut the sweet potaotes in half, scoop out the flesh with a spoon, and mash well in a large measuring cup. Place 2 cups mashed sweet potatoes in a large bowl and let mashed potatoes cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes.
Reduce oven heat to 350˚F. Place cream cheese, maple syrup, egg, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt in the bowl with the mashed sweet potatoes and stir well. Scoop batter evenly into 10 cups of a muffin tin lined with papers. Decorate your sweet potato cups with dried cranberries, dried cherries, and pecans (I made fun faces!). Bake cups for 30 minutes at 350˚F or until set (the tops will feel firm). Cool completely to room temperature and then place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until chilled. Makes 10 sweet potato cups.
Nutrition: 93 calories, 4.5g fat, 1.3g fiber, 2.3g protein per cup
Cost: $0.39 per cup