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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sweet Potato Bread

This recipe was so much fun to work with!  I'm still amazed how many different ways there are to use leftover sweet potatoes, and this is the best yet.  When I came across the original recipe, although it contained one of my least favorite ingredients (Crisco), I was determined to find a way to lighten up this bread.  I know Crisco has been around a long time and many cooks swear by it, but the only time I use it is for the occasional batch of Snickerdoodles.  Otherwise, I try to find alternate ingredients that are a little healthier and applesauce is my substitution of choice.  I still kept the Crisco, only using 1/3 of the original amount, and replaced the missing portion with applesauce and apple butter.  Since these do contain sugar, I reduced the sugar by a full cup and the results were outstanding!  The taste of sweet potato, which had almost a pumpkin pie flavor, combined with cinnamon and cloves came together perfectly.

The topping added a nice finishing touch, although I did reduce the portion by half, otherwise it seemed like WAY too much icing.  Just a light drizzle of icing makes this a tasty sweet treat that might just be breakfast in the morning.  Enjoy!

1/3 cup  Crisco Vegetable Shortening
1/3 cup  Apple Butter
1/3 cup  Applesauce (sweetened or unsweetened)
2 cups  Sugar
4  Large Eggs
2 cups  Mashed Sweet Potatoes (leftovers work great here)
3 1/2 cups  Flour
2 tsp  Baking Soda
2 tsp  Baking Powder
1 1/2 tsp  Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp  Salt
1/2 tsp  Ground Cloves
1/2 cup  Milk

For Glaze
1/2 cup  Confectioners Sugar
1/4 cup  Pure Maple Syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare 2 loaf pans by lining with foil; set aside.  ** Using the foil liners makes cleanup easy and also allows the bread to cool faster since you can lift the bread out of the pan using the foil liner.

Using an electric mixer on low speed cream together the shortening, apple butter, applesauce, sugar,  eggs and sweet potatoes.  Blend until smooth.  Add remaining ingredients and blend until combined.

Pour batter into the 2 loaf pans and bake for 65 - 75 minutes.  Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of each loaf.  If toothpick comes out clean the bread is done, otherwise return loaves to the oven and check for doneness in another 10 minutes.  Since my oven is a little wacky sometimes, mine were done just short of 90 minutes.

Cool bread on wire racks for 15 minutes, then lift the foil liners out of the loaf pans, peel back the foil and let loaves cool completely.

Combine the confectioners sugar and maple syrup until creamy and smooth, then drizzle over bread.

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