Do you have a childhood memory of a food that you hate? Did you ever have a parent tell you you couldn’t get up from the table until you ate all of something you didn’t like? Maybe it was lima beans? Maybe it was peas? Well, for me it was sweet potatoes!
I have this distinct memory from when I was very young about my mom having made a dish of baked sweet potatoes and I wouldn’t have anything to do with them. My dad was not happy with this. He told me I was not allowed to get up from the table until I ate them all. (The funny thing is I have no idea of the outcome.) All I know is that most of my life even the smell of cooked sweet potatoes made me feel ill.
The issue however, is that my husband loves them and it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without them. Thus began my journey into finding ways to cook sweet potatoes that didn’t give me flash back to my youth.
The first year I made them I did a gratin with them. It was a combination of both regular and sweet potatoes with a couple types of cheese. I even went as far as to try eating them but I just couldn’t do it.
Then last year I knew I needed to make a sweet potato side for our Thanksgiving dinner. Rather than trying to make it something we would both enjoy I looked for something interesting for my husband since I knew I would not be too keen on it. That’s when I found the recipe for Sweet Potatoes with Stilton, Walnuts, and Sage.
I know some people love the sweet potatoes with the marshmallow topping but this just doesn’t feel like a side dish for a dinner but rather more like a dessert! Then while I was thumbing through magazines in preparing for this year I saw a recipe for whoopee pies. They then gave several options to make them something seasonal and one was a Sweet Potato Whoopee Pie with Marshmallow Cream Filling. This seemed perfect! It would allow me to do a twist on the classic side dish but make it a dessert and have something that had the potential to be my “Thanksgiving Cookie”.
My first thought was I wanted them to be miniature whoopee pies(about an inch and a half in diameter), something more along the lines of French Macarons. I knew the key to macrons was consistency in size. I also knew that there are silpats that have the outline of the macaron printed on them. This lead me to the idea that I could make my outline on a large piece of paper and then lay my silpats on top of them.
This worked great! I was able to pipe the batter right on to the silpats and get a perfect shape each time. Then when they came out of the oven I pressed them down to make the flat and let them cool. Then my husband made the marshmallow filling that is a combination of butter, shortening, powdered sugar, vanilla, and a jar of marshmallow fluff!
The last step was team work. One person flipped cookies over, another piped the filling and the last one topped the cookie. The finished product was fantastic! So much so I think I ate 5 of them!
TIP: If you want to store them for a long time, place the finished whoopee pie on a baking sheet and stick in the freezer until they firm up. Then bag them and freeze.