Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Sweet Potato Crackers

The past couple of weeks have been pretty brutal around the Midwest. Polar Vortex...Snowmageddon...whatever you want to call it, we've got it. And what's better than bowl full of hot soup when you're snowed in? Nothing! Unless, of course, it's hot soup topped off with a crispy batch of sweet potato crackers..

1-1/2 cups flour (I used King Arthur's whole grain)
2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 medium sweet potato (1 cup of sweet potato puree)
1 teaspoon organic sugar (or honey or agave)
seasonings: paprika, cayenne, sesame seeds, cracked pepper, coarse salt
tools: food processor, KitchenAid mixer

First, cook your sweet potato. I prefer roasting the sweet potato - if you're short on time, poke some holes in it with a fork and microwave on high for a couple minutes - then pop it in the oven on 350* to finish the job. The method doesn't really matter, you could chop and boil it if you prefer. Once cooked, use a food processor or emulsion blender to create a smooth puree. If you yield more than a cup of puree, you can freeze it for next time!

Next, sift your dry ingredients together. Then add the butter and mix together using the standard paddle attachment until it forms a course mixture like this:

Switch to the dough hook attachment and add your sweet potato puree. Mix until the dough forms a ball - I had to add a bit of water, a couple tablespoons at a time until it was the right consistency. Since I'm still new to blogging, I might have forgotten to take a picture of this step...whoops! Imagine slightly dried-out Play-Dough...it should look something like that. Moist enough to hold it all together, but not so damp that it sticks to your hands or the bowl. Cool? Okay good, now you're going to split it into four dough balls - roll them and wrap them in wax paper. Let them chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes or so.

Preheat oven to 350. Turn out your dough ball onto a piece of wax or parchment paper and use another (or the piece that you rolled it in) to lightly flatten the ball. Then take a rolling pin and roll it very thin. Seriously, as thin as you can! Since I don't have any rolling pin rings, I improvised using some thick hair bands - they worked pretty good!

When you've got it nice and thin, roll. it a couple more times..just to be sure! Then cut them in your desired shape (mini cookie cutters would be a fun twist!) and sprinkle with toppings. I suggest toasted sesame seeds, paprika, cayenne and salt/pepper, but you could definitely switch it up - Parmesan and herbs might be my next batch.

Peel off and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Pop in the oven for 10 minutes. Turn over and cook another 5-10 minutes. Mine took the full 10 minutes, but all ovens are different so just keep an eye on them - you want the edges slightly browned. They will crisp up a little more when you take them out.

Place them on a cooling rack for a few minutes until cooled. Then dig in!

They are great for snacking on or as additions to soups and dips! Can I suggest serving them with a bowl of black bean and chorizo soup? Yum! You can save them for a few days in an airtight container - remember, there are no preservatives in these bad boys. Enjoy!

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