[Photograph: Carrie Vasios]

People tend start their home culinary journeys with baking, whether it's slice and bake cookies, boxed brownies, or even making homemade cupcakes with a patient parent. But when they circle back as adults, it's all about the cooking. Why? Because generally speaking, cooking is a lot harder to mess up.

Leave the dish on for a few extra minutes (or ten), add extra salt, forget the pepper, double the olive oil—mistakes are often less glaring and easier to correct then say, forgetting to add the baking powder to a cake. In the same way, you can customize your dish with what you have at hand, swapping in yellow squash for zucchini, ground turkey for beef, and on and on. But there's one culinary switcharoo that's popular in the savory world that tends to work for sweets as well: the pumpkin, squash, and sweet potato group.

That being said, I'd never actually tried it. I have different recipes for things like sweet potato and pumpkin pies and I never found myself with one and without the other. But after becoming addicted to these sweet potato biscuits I figured I should give the sweet taters more love.

I started by cooking my sweet potato then scooping out and mashing up the insides to make a puree. What I like about using sweet potatoes in these cookies is that they are earthier than pumpkin and really highlight those notes in the spices. A mixture of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger imparts the classic taste of fall, which I amped up with brown sugar and a touch of molasses. The baked cookies have a soft crumb and lightly crisp edges. With their generous spice flavor they're begging for a glass of cold milk or a crisp apple cider.

About the author: Carrie Vasios is the editor of Serious Eats: Sweets. She likes to peruse her large collection of cookbooks while eating jam from the jar. You can follow her on Twitter @carrievasios

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