Candied Yam Muffins

Thanksgiving is right around the bend, and with it comes the joys of those tasty autumn treats... pumpkin, winter squash, cranberries, chard, apples, sweet potatoes... yum yum yum! Though I love the summer harvest with its delightful fruits and brightly colored vegetables, there's something earthy and comforting about fall and winter produce.

My CSA food drop this month brought me a medley of autumn delights, including yams! They were mixed in with the potatoes and I almost missed them, but once found, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to whip up something delightful after work. Not only that, but I came up with a recipe that is both healthy and sweet... the perfect combo to get you in the autumn mood!

This photo is take two. Take one involved me trying to take "one bite" of the muffin, devouring the whole thing in three seconds flat, and sheepishly going for another. I got three bites into the second muffin before I remembered I still had to take a photo...

{candied yam muffins}

3-4 yams, peeled
4 eggs (I used two whole eggs and two egg whites)
1 cup applesauce
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
extra sugar and cinnamon for the topping

Peel the yams and boil in a pot of water. Depending on the size of the yams, and whether or not you cube them, they could take anywhere from 10-30 minutes to cook. I used three large yams and they boiled for 30 minutes or so. Test with a fork -- when you can easily push the fork through the yam, it's finished.

Let the yams cool a little and then puree them in a food processor or with a blender until creamy. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place eggs, applesauce, sugar, vanilla, and pureed yams into a large bowl. Beat until light and fluffy.

Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together in a small bowl. Stir dry ingredients into the yam mixture until just combined. It should thicken to a heavy paste.

At this point your recipe will smell a lot like pumpkin pie, and if you have a weakness for the stuff like I do, you're going to find it very hard to resist licking the bowl clean...

Get a hold of yourself and grease a muffin tin. Pour the delicious-smelling yam mixture into each cup, about 2/3 of the way full.

Cook muffins 17-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean. I left them a little on the underdone side, and this made them pumpkin-pie creamy on the inside. Mmmmmmm.

Let muffins cool ten minutes. Butter the tops of the muffins and sprinkle a cinnamon-sugar mixture on top for sweetness. Enjoy!