What could be more fun and festive than a Halloween pumpkin patch of your own, right on your dinner plate? These little cuties are made from sweet potatoes, baked to crispy perfection! Fun, delicious, and the perfect comfort food on a chilly Autumn day!
I don’t like to share a recipe that I have not yet tweaked to near perfection, but I’m sharing this one early because it’s a Halloween recipe. At the end of the article, I will talk about how I will be changing and hopefully improving this process for next time.
So here are the basics of how to make them!
Sweet Potatoes, the bigger the better!
Cooking oil. Whatever oil you prefer. I used Avocado oil.
Seasoning. Whatever combination of seasonings you prefer. I used 2 teaspoons of Old Bay in this recipe, but in the future, I will be using my custom “Gadzooks” seasonings instead. These would probably also be great with pumpkin-pie seasonings as well….and maybe even marshmallows for a sweet treat!
Cornstarch: 2 Teaspoons, (though I am not yet convinced this was necessary (more on that below.))
Buy some nice plump sweet potatoes, the bigger the better.
2. Slice the sweet potatoes about a quarter or a third of an inch thick. A mandolin slicer is the safest and quickest way to go.
Soak the slices in water to remove the starch so that they get nice and crispy when baked.
3. Use pumpkin-shaped cookie cutters on each sweet potato slice.
4. Cut faces into the pumpkin cut-outs.
5. Toss the slices in oil, making sure to cover all slices completely. (make sure the slices are nice and dry before adding the oil. This will help them crisp better.)
6. Add Seasoning to the oil-covered slices. I suggest doing this in a plastic bag, shake and bake style.
7. Bake 425 degrees. On parchment paper or non-stick aluminum foil. 15 minutes on one side, then flip and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Don’t overcrowd your baking sheet! They need some space to get properly crispy.
That’s it! Enjoy!
Notes, Fixes, and Updates:
Slicing: This is the first spot where my plan needs some improvement. I used a mandolin slicer to do this which should be quick easy work, but it was not. The sweet potatoes were so firm that it was difficult to slice through them. Maybe pre-cooking them slightly would make this work better.
Soaking: I soaked the slices in water to remove the starch so that they would bake to crispy perfection. After scouring the internet, for tricks and tips to get sweet potatoes crispy, some sources seemed to say that the key to a crispy sweet potato is removing the starch by soaking, while other recipes claimed that the key was in adding corn starch to the seasonings. Why remove the starch and then add it back in again? I am not sure, and need to do more experimenting!
Cookie Cutter: When I used my cookie cutter on each sweet potato slice, again, the slices were so firm that this was quite difficult. I had to use my meat tenderizing rubber mallet to get the cookie cutter to cut through the slices.
Faces: When I cut faces into the pumpkin cut-outs, once again this was difficult because the raw sweet potatoes were so firm.
Oiling and Seasoning: I used Old Bay seasoning, but I am not a big fan of the celery salt in Old Bay seasoning, so I think I would change the seasonings to my custom “Gadzooks” blend of:
1 tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 cup shredded parmesean cheese.
Baking: I ran out of parchment paper, so I had to use aluminum foil. I think they would be better on parchment. I pulled mine from the oven 5 minutes early, but I think they would have been better and more crispy if I went the full time. Also maybe a little blast from the air fryer setting would probably help as well.
This recipe is a family favorite that we have been making for at least 25 years. Our traditional recipe uses Walnuts, but to celebrate Kentucky Derby, we wanted to make mini pecan pies — so we swapped the walnuts for pecans. Some folks call these Tassies, others call them Tartlets but today we are calling them Mini Derby Pies because they are part of our Kentucky Derby Soiree! Read more about that here – where you’ll find lots of Kentucky Derby decorating inspiration and some winning recipes for yummy treats like Benedictine Spread and Kentucky Hot Browns! Here’s the Recipe! (sorry, no pictures of the baking process here — my hands were too buttery to hold the camera) 3 oz Cream Cheese 1 Stick of Butter 1 Cup of Flour Combine all and mix well. Shape into balls approximately 1 inch in diameter. Shape Balls into cups by inserting a finger into the center of each. Chill 15-20 Minutes Filling: 3/4 cup of Brown Sugar 1 Egg 1 teaspoon Vanilla 3/4 cup chopped Pecans 1 Teaspoon Butter a pinch of Salt
Mix Together. Fill each of the muffin cups with filling. Bake 30 Minutes at 350 degrees Sprinkle powdered sugar on top. In my family, we always made these for the big fall and winter holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, and we always doubled the recipe so we would have enough for the whole house full of guests – I miss those days a lot. I doubled the recipe this time and was shocked that it yielded a whopping 79 mini pies. I believe the original recipe yields 24, so I should have only had 48 — I may be making them a lot smaller than the recipe says, but that is how we have always done it! The original recipe says to use a mini muffin tin, but we have always just used the mini muffin cup liners and placed them all on a cookie sheet. It would just take way too long cooking them in multiple batches. I’m not sure if we’ll get to the Mint Julep Brownies I had planned to make, so that will have to wait until next year. That brings our very first Kentucky Derby celebration to a close. We had lots of fun trying new things and look forward to discovering many more reasons to celebrate! For more Kentucky Derby check out the links below to other Magical Giggles articles packed full of Kentucky Derbydecorating inspiration and winning recipes for yummy treats like Benedictine Spread and Kentucky Hot Browns! Kentucky Derby Decorating Inspiration Benedictine Spread Recipe Kentucky Hot Browns Recipe Mini Derby Pie Recipe Pssst….Hold on to your sombrero — Cinco de Mayo is next! Festive fiesta festivities are in the works!
Welcome Springtime! I am always up for a cupcake party, and the First Day of Spring is a perfect excuse for one! We had intended to make these cupcakes as a St Patrick’s Day treat — sort of an end-of -the-rainbow pot-of-gold Leprechaun thing — but the time got away from us and we didn’t make that deadline. Instead these cupcakes are in celebration of the first day of Spring (even if it does look like Springtime on the North Pole right now outside). They are Key Lime cake with a cloud of Vanilla frosting swirled high and a candy rainbow on top. The taste is light and fresh and everything one could hope for in a springtime treat!
Here are all the details!
We used a Pillsbury box cake mix! *gasp* We didn’t even change anything — we just followed the directions on the box. I can’t remember where we got this cake mix, but I think it was Walmart or Target — it seems to be a seasonal item that comes and goes throughout the year. It is delicious. I wish I could claim it as my own recipe! It’s light and fresh and the key lime flavor is divine.
The rainbows are made from Air Heads Extremes: Sweetly Sour Candy Rainbow Berry. We picked them up at Walmart — $1.38 for a pack of 20 (just 4 short of the 24 needed for all my cupcakes!). They taste sour and then sweet. When combined with the fresh Key lime flavor of the cake and creamy vanilla in the frosting, they add an extra dimension to the flavor — unexpected and simply scrumptious! The dry cake mix is oddly white, and we thought we were going to have to add food coloring, but as soon as we mixed in the eggs, oil and water, the green color came out — I guess it’s powdered color suspended in the mix. Warning, this batter is thick and nearly killed our electric hand mixer. The box says to beat the batter for 2 minutes. We were not able to do that so we just used the whisk and a lot of arm power. It was so thick that it felt like scooping heavy pudding into the cupcake cups! At that point we thought it was not going to turn out well at all, but thank goodness we were wrong!
When they were cooled we loaded up our pastry bag (more of a pastry tube — like a calking gun for cooking) with Vanilla frosting and swirled on the vanilla ‘cloud’ with a decorative tip. The Airhead Extremes are a little bit too long straight from the package, so we cut about an inch off of each strip with kitchen sheers. When the strips are too long, the rainbows tend to warp and topple, so this simple snip solves that problem (and also leaves you with ‘extra’ candy bits for snacking). We just tucked each end into the creamy cloud to create the rainbow and they held in place beautifully. The tangy sour taste of the candy complimented the cupcake and frosting very nicely! And that was that! A perfect light and yummy Key Lime Cuppycake to celebrate the very first day of Spring! After such a long hard winter, we all deserve a nice springtime treat!
♪♫ At laaaaaast….my loooove has come along…♫♪ Is it weird that the song At Lastby Etta James played in my head, time stopped and swirly twirly cartoon hearts and snowflakes floated around my head the first time I tasted these? I also felt like Buddy the Elf declaring “I’m in love, I’m in love, I’m in love and I don’t care who knows it!” while throwing my elf hat in the air.
We bought this brownie mix at Aldi, just because it seemed like a nice holiday treat to have while cuddled on the couch with a warm blanket, and a great Christmas movie. Now I am smitten, and my heart is all-a-flutter. The brownie and marshmallow together are just pure magic. I can’t even describe its ooey gooey warm deliciousness.
Oh, one parting warning about these. The marshmallow is insanely hot when they come out of the oven, so though it may seem like torture , its a good idea to wait a bit and avoid scalding the inside of your mouth. That is definitely the first time I have ever had to warn anyone to avoid a marshmallow related injury!