Sunday, January 08, 2012

Twice Baked Sweet Potato

Happy New (Detox-time-of) Year! After averaging six desserts per day between December 15th and January 2nd, I am ready to put a bit more balance in my diet. This realization is quite promising since it suggests I do have a limit on how many cookies I can consume in a set time period. Alleluia.

I arrived back in the Big Apple on a day when the high was 29 and I realized I wasn't in North Carolina anymore. I took a moment to ask my first New York winter to be gentle on me and jumped into a cab destined for our apartment where I was ignored for eight hours by Newt-the-cat (who was punishing me for boarding him over the holiday) and the sounds of the steam radiators (as they worked as hard as they could to heat the apartments on the fifth floor). But I was glad to be back. I was sad to be further from my family and hometown but I was happy to get back to my little (super-tiny) corner of New York.

And back to a routine where I'm not constantly tempted by red velvet cake and fudge made by my dad's clients, Momofuku Milk Bar goodies that Robbie had sent to Newton ahead of our arrival, and an incredible variety homemade cookies my mom had gathered through the prior week's cookie swaps and holiday parties. Having plowed through these treats quite well while at home, I now turn to simple meals like this one - stuffed baked sweet potato. A touch of sweetness and yumminess that isn't nearly as unhealthy as my third apple pie cake truffle (nuked in the microwave for six seconds as only the professional Milk Bar aficionados do). This recipe can be made to taste and I encourage you to add sweet or salty as you see fit. I imagine maple syrup would be just as delicious as brown sugar, or swap sour cream for cream cheese. Or, if you were me two weeks ago, throw in maple syrup with the brown sugar and top it off with some cream cheese frosting. And have it at 5:30 in the evening as an appetizer.

Twice Baked Sweet Potato
Adapted from my own, sweet-obsessed mind.

1 Sweet Potato
Olive Oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons walnuts
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons cream cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rub some olive oil into the potato and wrap in foil. Bake in oven for about 45 minutes or until soft (may want to check it at 35 - 40 minutes). While your potato is baking, mix vanilla, walnuts, brown sugar, butter and cream cheese. Once the baked potato is baked through, cut it in half and scoop out the meat, adding it to your bowl of other toppings. Mix thoroughly and divide it back into your empty potato skins. Place the skins back into the oven to bake for another 5 - 7 minutes or until heated through to your liking.

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