Sweet potato and lemon cookies (Zimbabwe)

Again sorry for not posting, blah blah blah. Not only have I been very busy with the move, I have also lost my cooking mojo. The selection of fresh veg and fruit is just so amazing and cheap here in Amsterdam compared to Finland (e.g. fresh green beans are 1/10 of the price!) that I don’t really feel like cooking, I just enjoy things like artichokes, corn on the cob, roasted parsnips, butternut and black salsify etc, things I could have never eaten in Finland or only as a rare treat. Luckily I have a backlog of Vegventures stuff to post.

Zimbabwe is a fairly small landlocked country in Southern Africa, nowadays unfortunately most (in)famous for its dictator Robert Mugabe and the insane hyperinflation that has resulted from his politics. Zimbabwe used to be a colony of Britain under the name Rhodesia and the Brits managed to introduce their love for tea and bland foods into the country. More than 1/3 of Zimbabweans are undernourished.

Most African nations have a stable porridge-like starchy dish, and for Zimbabweans it is sadza, kind of a cornmeal. Other popular foods include corn in other forms, yams, peanuts, beans, pumpkin and squash, greens, cucumbers, avocados, papaya and many different kinds of meat, including worms and insects.

I have no idea how authentic these Zimbabwean sweet potato cookies are, but they have received rave reviews (and lemon zest is featured in several supposedly Zimbabwean recipes). I veganized the recipe and found it very tasty, though to me they seemed more like scones than cookies. I also found I needed to bake them for 10-12 minutes, even though the original recipe said 7…

Almost any egg replacer should work here. Remember to use enough liquid to make about 1/4 cup/0.6 dl. Instead of honey you can use agave syrup or brown rice syrup. The optional orange blossom water (which can be found in Middle Eastern groceries) helps to imitate the flavour of honey. Orange blossom water also goes great with anything containing citrus.

The recipe makes quite a few cookies, which being soft don’t keep as well as crisp cookies. You might want to freeze some (they might freeze better without the icing, but the icing is quite essential).

P.S. Check out my new article How to Create a Superb Food Blog.

Sweet potato and lemon cookies

Zimbabwean sweet potato cookies

0.33 lbs/150 g margarine
0.25 cup/0.6 dl sugar
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tsp ground or freshly grated nutmeg
0.25 cup/0.6 dl agave syrup, brown rice syrup or a mixture of both
substitute for 1 egg
1 cup/2.4 dl finely grated raw sweet potato
2.5 cups/6 dl all-purpose flour
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
0.5 teaspoon baking soda
0.5 tsp salt
(0.25-0.5 tsp orange blossom water)

Lemon icing

1 tsp margarine
1.5 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1.5 cups/3.6 dl powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350F/175C. Cream together margarine and sugar. Add lemon zest, nutmeg, syrup, egg substitute and orange blossom water (if using). Fold in sweet potato. In a separate bowl mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well.

Drop balls of dough on a cookie sheet and flatten slightly. Bake for 7-12 minutes (see notes).

Before icing, let the cookies cool. Combine all icing ingredients until smooth. Add more liquid if needed to make an easily spreadable (but not too runny) icing. Spread on the cookies with a spoon.

One Response to “Sweet potato and lemon cookies (Zimbabwe)”

  1. 1

    Im doing this report on Zimbabwe! I was looking everywhere for a picture of a simple dessert from this country. Thank you sooo much.

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