Sweet Potato Cookies With Maple Glaze 20.000

Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post

Holiday Cookies 2016 Dec 1, 2016

These very caky cookies are more savory than sweet, with a surprise of heat on the finish. A maple-syrup glaze helps the topping adhere; feel free to substitute finely chopped crystallized ginger if you’d rather not use the ham. (You would need about 2 ounces of the crystallized ginger.)

Make Ahead: The scooped cookie dough needs to be refrigerated for 1 hour. The candied ham can be stored for several days in an airtight container (at room temperature).

20 cookies

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 20 cookies

  • For the candied ham topping
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 or 3 slices thick-cut honey ham, cut into very small dice (about 5 ounces total)
  • For the cookies
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes (from about 3 sweet potatoes; see NOTE)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • For the glaze
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon water


For the candied ham topping: Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Once it’s warm, sprinkle in about 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar, shaking the pan gently to create an even layer. Cook until the sugar melts and develops a honey color.

Add another 1/4 cup of the sugar and repeat the process, then repeat two more times to caramelize all the sugar. Stir in the ham, making sure it’s all evenly coated.

Seat a heatproof fine-mesh strainer over a heatproof bowl. Pour the ham and glaze into the strainer. Let the sugared ham air-dry while you preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner.

Spread the ham over the baking sheet. Bake for 3 minutes or until the ham is candied and not so sticky/tacky. Let it cool before using or storing.

For the cookies: Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.

Combine the dark brown sugar and granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer; beat on low speed, gradually adding the melted butter until well incorporated. Stop to scrape down the bowl.

Add the mashed sweet potatoes, maple syrup and vanilla extract; beat on low speed until incorporated. Stop to scrape down the bowl.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cayenne pepper and salt in a separate bowl.

On low speed, add the flour mixture in a few additions, beating just long enough to incorporate; do not over-mix.

Scoop tablespoons of dough onto the baking sheets, spacing the mounds 1 inch apart. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Use your hand to slightly flatten each mound of cookie dough. Bake one sheet at time (middle rack) for 5 minutes, then rotate the sheet front to back; bake for 5 minutes, until the cookies look set but still feel soft to the touch. Let them cool on the sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool.

Meanwhile, make the glaze: Whisk together the maple syrup and water in a liquid measuring cup.

Working with a few cookies at a time, brush them with the glaze, then immediately sprinkle with a good pinch of the candied ham (or crystallized ginger; see headnote). Let it set for a few minutes before serving or storing.

NOTE: Use a skewer or the tip of a sharp knife to poke a few holes in the sweet potatoes. Bake on a baking sheet in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes or until fork tender. Let them cool for 30 minutes, then peel and mash.

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Recipe Source

From Taylor Pritekel, a pastry chef at Bourbon Steak in Washington.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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