I absolutely love food blogging, but I have to admit that there are both pros and cons to this hobby.
Pro: Creating and eating lots of yummy recipes.
Con: Coming up with recipes that other people will want to make and eat (not always as easy as one might think)
Pro: Having a greater appreciation for food in general.
Con: Driving my family crazy with my photo taking and over-excitement for food! ;)
Pro: Always having fresh baked goods in the house.
Con: Weight gain caused by eating everything I make!
Pro: Entering my creations in Recipe Contest and WINNING!!!!!
Last year while browsing the internet, I came across a recipe contest.
Although the deadline was fast approaching, my thoughts were spinning because I absolutely love Sweet Potatoes. I had several ideas stirring in my head when I created this recipe. Originally I was going to make sweet potato biscuits when I decided I wanted something more spicy and sweet. Then the idea occured to me to try and make a cookie. My vision took a few turns while making these little babys. A sugar cookies with a sweet potato filling....No a cookie with a kick and sweet cream....
It wasn't until I baked them that I had the idea to add the caramel infused cream icing. I quickly stored the cookies away and made the icing which I use alot for cupcakes. I used a piping bag with a star tip to swirl the icing on the cookies to make a pretty presentation. My mouth was watering the entire time I was icing the halved cookies. I couldn't wait, I knew the combination was going to be a hit. I was so sure of the delicious direction I was going that I iced the entire batch without hesitation. After I chilled the cookies and topped with the other half, I finally rewarded myself with a bite! Oh------- my------ was I right.
The sweet potato cookie with a kick and a slightly sweet cream filling was more of the decadent cookie I was aiming for. The combination of the salted carmel cream with the sweet potato sugar base cookie was love at first bite.
Happy with my creations, I entered the contest. It seemed like forever, in fact I had already assumed a winner was picked when I received this email:
Good morning Valonda,
I am writing to let you know that your recipe for Spiced Sweet Potato Sandwich Cookies was the Dessert category winner for the 2013 Sweet Rewards Recipe Contest. Congratulations! The competition this year was fierce and we were very pleased with the results. The Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission is preparing your plaque and prize check for $500 and you should receive it within the next few weeks.
As part of the contest you will be featured in the November/December issue of Louisiana Cookin' magazine and I will have some sent to your address below when it's back from the printer. The winning recipes will also be posted on louisianacookin.com.
Attached is a recipe release that I will need you to look over and sign. It is a non-exclusive agreement that lets us edit the recipes so they match our editorial style and gives us permission to reprint the recipe in the future. Please don't hesitate if you have any questions.
Editor, Louisiana Cookin
You can only imagine my surprise! I am so honored. A few weeks later I received a package with a letter from the Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission congratulating me on being their 1st place winner out of 800 recipes. WHOA 800? If it wasn't in print I wouldn't believe it either. Whoo hoo. Now this really is a bigger honor than I initially thought. I carefully removed the bubble wrap that surrounded this beautiful plaque. Absolutely beautiful. My family standing with me, I would not let them touch it. Yeah, go ahead and laugh, you would do the same. The photo of my cookie was perfect! I had to display it, no this wasn't going to be in a box somewhere. This plaque is proudly displayed in my kitchen! Makes me smile everytime I look at. SWEET!!!!
Just a couple weeks ago, As I am preparing to compete in the World Food Championship in Las Vegas, I received my copy of the Nov/Dec 2013 Issue of Louisiana Cookin.
How cool is that! Duck Dynasty on the cover of the magazine that my recipe appears in. Another Woot!
Wanting to keep this short and sweet (no pun intended .... well maybe just a little) I can now share with you the Winning Recipe. Go Induldge, leave your comments and let me know what you think.
Prep time: 30 min | Cook Time: 30 min | Servings: 2 1/2 dozen
If you want to impress your friends, you can convert your sweet potatoes into a delicious sinful dessert with just a few turns of the mixer. This recipe may seem complicated, but having all the ingredients measured out ahead of time is key. These cookies are definitely a *sweet reward.*INGREDIENTS:
1 cup butter, softened
¾ cup confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¾ cup canned sweet potato, puréed
2½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Caramel Infused Cream Filling:
[Makes approximately 2 3/4 cups]
1¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons chilled heavy whipping cream
½ cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons prepared caramel ice cream topping
1. In a large bowl, beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar,beating until smooth. Beat in vanilla and sweet potato.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, cardamom, and cayenne. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed until combined.
3. Divide dough in half; flatten each into a disk. Roll each disk to ¼-inch thickness between 2 sheets of wax paper. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 350°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
5. Working with one portion of dough at a time, remove top piece of wax paper; cut with a 2-inch round cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on prepared baking sheets.
6. Bake until edges are golden, 12 to 14 minutes. Cool on baking sheets 1 minute; transfer to wire racks and cool completely.
1. In the work bowl of a food processor combine sugar, salt, cream, butter, and ice cream topping. Process until thickened slightly.
2. Transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat until light and fluffy, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of bowl, about 15 minutes. Do not overmix.
3. Transfer filling to a pastry bag fitted with a large round or star tip.
4. pipe about 2 teaspoons Caramel Cream Filling onto half of cookies. Top with remaining cookies.