Sweet Potato Rum Cookies

November 29, 2019
7 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten. Food stylist: Samantha Seneviratne. Prop stylist: Brooke Deonarine.
  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 14 minutes
  • Makes 20 cookies
Author Notes

It’s no secret: We’re huge fans of Chrissy Teigen. Her recipes regularly find themselves in our weekly rotation (even when we nearly set our kitchen on fire making them). We’re unabashedly obsessed with her first cookbook, and its super-delicious follow-up. We laugh out loud when we read her hilarious tweets, and audibly coo when we see Instagram photos of her impossibly cute kids, Luna and Miles, doing impossibly cute things.

So when Chrissy agreed to share her go-to holiday cookie recipe with us this season, we could hardly contain our excitement. It was sure to be packed with flavor, heavy on the nostalgia factor, and just plain craveable. (This was all, of course, confirmed when we got the recipe.) Now, we’re so thrilled to share it with you—plus, a story from Chrissy on why she loves these cookies so much around the holidays.

For some reason, I've never been a sweets type of girl. But with two kids, sweets have become a bigger part of my life—especially because of Luna. Making cookies is one of the activities I love doing with her; it's crazy how similar she is to me in her love for cooking and baking. She makes for an excellent stand-mixer replacement and can out-sprinkle even the greatest of sprinklers (salt bae?).

Now, don't get me wrong, traditional sugar cookies and chocolatey cookies are great, but I had to make a cookie that was a bit more fun for the adults, and these are to die for around the holidays: rich, tender sweet potato cookies with a boozy, rum-butter–flavored icing. The cookie dough is made from flour, sugar, and soft, canned sweet potato as well as its flavorful syrup, making for a pillowy texture and an earthy flavor. The icing, which is a simple glaze with powdered sugar, rum extract, and butter extract, could just as easily be made with rum and butter if you're not baking with little ones.

The cookies are wonderfully plush and thick, perfectly chewy, and unbelievably flavorful, thanks to a punch of allspice and bright orange zest. The buttery, rummy, just-sweet-enough icing provides the perfect balance. I like to make a little extra icing (warmed up, of course) to keep on hand to double dip the cookies into, and have a tiny pinch bowl of kosher salt to sprinkle a few grains onto each bite. —Chrissy Teigen

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: Food52's Holiday Cookie Chronicles —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • Sweet Potato Cookie Dough
  • 1 1/2 cups (365g) canned sweet potatoes in syrup (1/2 cup, or 118ml syrup reserved)
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks, 1 cup, or 227g) unsalted butter, softened
  • Zest of 1 medium orange
  • 1 cup (200g) golden brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup (118ml) sweet potato syrup
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
  • Buttered Rum Glaze
  • 2 cups (226g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rum extract (if you can't find this, use spiced rum instead)
  • 1 teaspoon butter flavor (if you can't find this, use a teaspoon of melted butter instead)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons water or whole milk, to further thin glaze (as needed)
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Using a food processor, cream softened butter and sweet potatoes until fully mixed.
  3. Add orange zest, brown sugar, syrup and lemon juice, and vanilla and mix until combined. Lastly add salt, baking soda, all spice and flour, and pulse until fully combined.
  4. Drop batter 1 heaping tablespoon at a time onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake for 14 minutes, rotating halfway through, until they have set and the edges are slightly browned. Make sure to give them a little space in between each cookie, since they will expand during the cooking process.
  5. Once baked, remove from oven and set on a rack to cool.
  6. While cookies are cooling, add all glaze ingredients to a medium sized bowl and whisk together. After adding the extracts, you may have to add additional water or whole milk, one tablespoon at a time, to achieve a pourable but not too thin consistency. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or lid until cookies are cooled.
  7. Pour glaze over cookies while still on the rack with a sheet pan or platter underneath to catch the drippings (and feel free to use the dripped icing for dipping the cookies into, as I do).

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • drbabs
  • Brinda Ayer
    Brinda Ayer
  • Sarah Sawant
    Sarah Sawant
  • cosmiccook

11 Reviews

Sarah S. November 24, 2020
Stop with the plastic wrap
cosmiccook December 21, 2019
I agree; I SO wanted these to be winners! It has all the flavor elements I love but... they just didn't work out. Center--even at longer baking time the second round--was under-cooked.
Pat C. December 21, 2019
Wow, I thought they came out really well. Everyone loved them. Maybe the properties of syrup in canned sweet potatoes varies?
cosmiccook December 21, 2019
I used fresh potatoes and cane syrup.
cosmiccook December 21, 2019
Probably a longer bake maybe-the batter was tasty--just didn't bake out like I thought they would
Espressomom December 21, 2019
Gummy texture. Sweet potato syrup or needed more flour? The orange zest and rum icing made them worth eating once. Will not add to my cookie lineup.
cosmiccook December 10, 2019
I just made these. Had to make a few adjustments due to not having all ingredients. I was OUT of flour about 1/4 shy and just added Pecan meal (toasted ground pecans). I did use the cane syrup--it worked fine. For the glaze I browned the butter and used orange juice as the thinner. 151 rum & allspice dram were a bit strong. My husband commented they would be awesome w Eggnog.
Pat C. December 8, 2019
The glaze did not work as described - had to add water, that was way too little moisture. Cookies were good, a little crispy outside, soft inside.
Brinda A. December 8, 2019
Thanks for this feedback, Pat C.—added a note in the recipe to let people know they may have to add a bit more liquid to thin the glaze.
drbabs December 8, 2019
I had a baked sweet potato in the refrigerator so I decided to make these cookies. They're really good, but I had to make a few alterations to make the recipe work. My potato weighed about half of the sweet potato weight in her recipe, so I adjusted accordingly. Instead of syrup, I used the same amount of orange juice from the orange I zested. I used two teaspoons to form the cookies instead of a tablespoon, and I got about 2 dozen cookies that are 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Interestingly, they didn't spread much (I guess because they were missing the viscous syrup) so they're a little more rustic looking than in the photo. In addition, I found that I needed more liquid to make the glaze--about a tablespoon per 1/2 cup of powdered sugar. I also added about 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt to the glaze, which balanced the sweetness nicely. The cookies are soft and cakey, and really good.
Brinda A. December 8, 2019
Thanks so much for this note, drbabs! Updated the glaze with a note that folks might need more liquid to get it to the right consistency.