I first tried these tiny treats in Colonial Williamsburg, West Virginia years ago and was blown away by their taste. There was no internet back then, so the only way to get the recipe was by buying their Cookbook.
These muffins can be made a day in advance, covered and stored at room temperature. They can also be frozen: bake and cool completely, then wrap or bag 'em, defrosting at room temperature a few hours before serving.
By "scant 1/2 cup" sugar, I mean barely a 1/2 cup; a teaspoon or two less is fine.
Christiana Campbell’s Tavern Sweet Potato Muffins
adapted slightly from The Williamsburg Cookbook
makes 3 dozen mini-muffins
1 medium sweet potato, scrubbed
1⁄4 cup (1/2 stick) margarine, softened, plus more to grease muffin pans
1/2 scant cup granulated sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 tsp. grated lemon peel
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1⁄2 tsp. table salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1⁄4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 cup soy or almond milk
1⁄4 cup walnuts, finely chopped (optional)
1⁄2 cup raisins, chopped
Prick potato in several places with a fork. Place on small baking sheet or square of aluminum foil and bake at 375F for 45 minutes (or place on micro-safe plate and nuke on high for 8-10 minutes) until soft. Cool, peel and mash. Measure out 2/3 cup and set aside. Eat any remaining. Baking is hard work ... you deserve a healthy snack.
Preheat the oven to 400F. Using a pastry brush, grease 1 1⁄2-inch mini-muffin tins with margarine and set aside. Sift the flour with the baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside as well.
Using a mixer, cream margarine and sugar at medium-high speed (about 1 minute). Add eggs, one at time, beating well after each addition. Beat in sweet potatoes and grated lemon peel.
Reduce mixer speed to low and add flour mixture alternately with soy or almond milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. You want to barely mix everything in; do not overmix. With a spatula, stir in nuts (if using) and raisins just until combined.
Spoon batter into muffin tins 2⁄3 full.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until muffins are gold brown and spring back when gently pressed.