Gluten-free Sweet Potato Snickercrinkles

Brilliant! That’s how I would call the intuition of Chris Taylor and Paul Arguin, authors of Fabulous Modern Cookies. They took the Asian technique of Tangzhong and applied it to cookies that use fresh fruit – like pumpkin, bananas, and in this case, sweet potato.

From the King Arthur Baking website, “The Tangzhong Technique is an Asian technique — which has origins in Japan’s yukone (or yudane) and was popularized across Asia by Taiwanese cookbook author Yvonne Chen — cooks a small percentage of the flour and liquid (water or milk) in a yeast recipe very briefly before combining the resulting thick slurry with the remaining ingredients.

How does this technique affect yeast dough? It pre-gelatinizes the starches in the flour, meaning they can absorb more water. In fact, flour will absorb twice as much hot water or milk as it does the cool/lukewarm water or milk you’d usually use in yeast dough.

Not only does the starch in the flour absorb more liquid; since heating the starch with water creates structure, it’s able to hold onto that extra liquid throughout the kneading, baking, and cooling processes. “

Taylor and Arguin took it even further. They realized that the Tangzhong technique could be used to absorb the excess liquid when using fruit that would provide too much moisture. Later on I will post a recipe for Banana Chocolate Chip crisp cookies form their book, using the same method.

The original recipe called for pumpkin, but I had just returned from our farm share pick up, and I had plenty of sweet potatoes, so I used a baked sweet potato instead. These cookies are delicious and so easy to bake, a mix between Snickerdoodles and Crinkles, with plenty of cinnamon flavor, the caramelized depth of dark brown sugar, and the confectioners’ sugar coating.


Gluten-free Sweet Potato Snickercrinkles

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Recipe by Simona Gluten-free Difficulty: Easy
Prep time


Cooking time




  • 351 g 351 Simona’s Flour Mix, divided – 2 1/4 cup

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons 1 1/4 baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 salt

  • 85 g 85 unsalted butter – 6 Tablespoons

  • 300 g 300 dark brown sugar – 1 1/3 cups

  • 1 Tablespoon 1 ground cinnamon, separated

  • 163 g 163 baked sweet potato or pumpkin puree – 2/3 cup

  • 3 large 3 egg yolks

  • 3/4 teaspoon 3/4 vanilla extract

  • 60 g 60 confectioners’ sugar – 1/2 cup


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together 312 g (2 cups) flour, the baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • Add your butter to a small saucepan over medium heat. Let melt and continue to heat undisturbed until it begins bubbling. Once the bubbling begins to quiet down, start swirling the pan constantly for about 1 minute, or until you start seeing the solids at the bottom of the pan turning golden brown and the butter has a nutty aroma (this can go from seeing nothing to being quite golden brown in a matter of seconds, just as a heads up.)
  • Remove the pan from heat and stir in the brown sugar along with 2 teaspoons of cinnamon, scraping at the bottom of the pan to fully incorporate all of the browned bits. Transfer the mixture to a bowl of a stand up mixer.
  • In a separate small, microwave-safe bowl, stir together the remaining 39 g (1/4 cup) flour and the smashed baked sweet potato – or pumpkin puree. Add the mixture to your microwave and heat in 30 second increments, stirring in between each one, until the mixture has thickened into a paste (about 2 minutes total). This is the Tangzhong Technique I mentioned in my introduction.
  • Add the pumpkin mixture to the bowl with the brown sugar mixture.
    Using the paddle attachment, beat the mixtures together on medium speed to fully combine. Let set for 10 minutes, or until fully cool.
  • Once cool, mix in the egg yolks and the vanilla extract on medium speed.
    Reduce the speed to low and mix in your flour mixture a little at a time, being sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl from time to time to make sure everything is fully combined.
  • In a separate small, shallow bowl, whisk together the remaining teaspoon and cinnamon and the confectioners’ sugar. Use a 1 1/2 Tablespoon cookie scoop to portion out a ball of the dough and drop it into the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
    Gently roll the ball around to completely coat and then place on your baking sheet.
    Repeat, adding the coated dough two inches apart on your baking sheet.
  • Bake until the cookies are puffy and the tops are cracked, about 12 to 16 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Let cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheets then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
    You can store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for several days.

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