Sweet Potato Cornbread

Hi there– It’s finally happened!  We are into soup weather around here.  Chilly mornings, snuggly sweaters and bubbling pots of  soup.  And to go with that bowl of soup– there’s cornbread!!

This hearty cornbread is laced with sweet potato, pumpkin pie spice.  It smells wonderful coming out of the oven.  Top it with honey or a drizzle of maple syrup–or like here with a splash of sour cream & berry jam.

1 medium sweet potato
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tab. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
3 tab. canola oil

Poke it with a fork and then cook the sweet potato (12 minutes in the microwave– or about an hour in a 400 degree oven) until it is tender.  Peel the sweet potato and mash it with a pastry blender or a fork until it’s creamy.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice.  Then mix in the eggs, milk, sour cream and oil.  Finally fold in the sweet potato until it’s all blended.

Spoon the cornbread mixture into a 9″ or 10″ baking dish and put it into a 425 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes until it is golden and firm to the touch.  Set it on the table with a pot of soup– perfect!


Pumpkin Pecan Rolls with Maple Glaze


Hi all– How many cans of pumpkin puree have you gone through this year already?  I think it’s been a record pumpkin year for us!  Cakes, muffins, pumpkin brownies… Larry made pumpkin apple bread (one of his few, but delicious baking forays) for the Thursday kids who come while I was up in San Francisco!  We are taking full advantage of this fall pumpkin baking season.

So here is our latest.  I think people shy away from making yeast rolls (I’m talking cinnamon rolls, orange rolls, sticky buns!!) because they think it’s difficult.  It’s not.  But it does take some time around the house.  Fifteen minute dough tending with long stretches of dough rising (so you can read a book or fold some laundry).  So if you have a quiet Saturday morning at home, and you want your kitchen to smell scrumptious, I’d recommend a go at these tender, delicious pumpkin pecan rolls.


1 pkg. dry yeast (1 tablespoon)
1 cup milk (warmed to 120-130 degrees)*
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg
3  1/2 cups flour

3/4 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted & cooled
4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 cup pecans, chopped

1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 tab. pure maple syrup


Put the yeast in a large heat proof mixing bowl (glass is best).  Stir in the warm milk until the yeast is dissolved.  Then add in the sugar, salt, oil and egg.  Mix together.  Next about 1/2 cup at a time, stir in the flour.  When it’s all mixed, knead the dough just 3 or 4 minutes.  If the dough gets sticky, add a bit more flour.

Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel and set it in a warm place to rise and hour & 15 minutes. (I heat the oven to 200 degrees for just 3 minutes and then turn it off while I’m mixing up the dough– then set the bowl in the warmed oven to rise)

While the dough is rising. mix together the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, melted butter, pumpkin pie spice and pecans.  Set them aside.

Take the dough out and punch it down and lift from the bowl to a counter sprinkled with flour.  Roll out the dough with a rolling pin util you have a rectangle about 10″ by 18″.   Then spread the pumpkin mixture over the rolled out dough clear to the edges.

Starting at the long 18″ upper edge, roll the dough toward you until you have a long tube shaped roll.  Then cut the rolls into 1″ slices and put them in a 9″x13″ baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  (or–I used 2 10″ tart pans instead.)  Makes about 18 rolls.

If you have a little handful of extra pecans, sprinkle them on top and pop the rolls into the slightly warm oven to rise for 45 minutes more.

At the end of the 2nd rise of 45 minutes, turn up the heat to 375 degrees and make the rolls for 20 to 25 minutes until they are nicely browned.


While they are baking, whisk together the powdered sugar and 2 or 3 tablespoons of maple syrup (depending on how thick you want your glaze to be).  When the rolls come out of the oven, let them cool about 10 minutes and then drizzle the glaze over the rolls.  They taste heavenly, eaten warm from the oven!


*I put the milk in the microwave for 45 to 60 seconds.  It should feel just warm enough for a baby’s bath.