I want to start off by clarifying something that may be become misunderstood when reading this blog: I love Pumpkin. Love. It. Yes, it’s even capitalized there because THAT’S how important it is to me. BUT, I also have to say for the record, that sometimes pumpkin needs to take a seat, and let his other friends shine.
Before you have a conniption, let me explain. In the Fall, when you want to make a dessert that isn’t a pie, choosing to make a bar is a great choice. You get the pie taste and texture, in handheld form. Often times, during this time of year, most bars found in bakeries are either apple-y or pumpkin-y. While that’s fantastic and tasty and all…we’re forgetting about another fall food that is equally as delicious and versatile: the sweet potato! You can make it sweet, you can make it savory, you can roast it, you can boil it. It’s a show stopper as a side dish, a main entree, a dessert, you name it!
This week, I made a little something that gives the sweet potato it’s time in the spotlight. This crunch bar essentially mimics a pumpkin pie bar in shape and texture, but is reminiscent of that delicious sweet potato casserole we all know and love.
We’ll start with the sweet potato base. Easily enough, you’ll boil some sweet potatoes and puree them until they are smooth. Then, you’ll combine them with with the rest of the ingredients in the base recipe (evaporated milk, eggs, sugars and spices).
Moving on, we have a “cake mix” to make. Some bar recipes involve combining fruit with a pre-packaged cake mix. Those two become friends in the oven, and magic happens. This idea is loosely based off that, but the “cake mix” is homemade. Why? Because all cake mix really is, is pre-mixed flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Sorry, Betty Crocker, I’m going to save my money on this one, and make it myself.
Time to assemble! First, spread the sweet potato mix on the bottom of a well greased 9×13 pan.
Cover that with the cake mix.
Last but not least, sprinkle on the chopped pecans and pour the melted butter over it all. Come on, can you really go wrong with a drizzle of melted butter?
You’ll put the pan in an oven set to 350 degrees and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until the top layer is golden brown and a tad crispy. In order to get them out in somewhat uniform slices, you’ll need to let them cool almost completely in the pan before slicing.
And, there you have it: proof that this potato needs it’s time to shine more often. Between the warm cinnamon kick of the bottom layer, and the crunch of the pecans on top, this bar is one you have to try.
Next week, we’re going back to cookies featuring Salty and Sweet, BFFs until the end.
Until then, stayed tuned and stay hungry!
- 16 oz. cooked sweet potato, pureed
- 12 oz. evaporated milk
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- 2 1/3 cup flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup pecans, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer, beat sweet potato, milk, sugars, salt and spices until well combined, on medium speed.
- Continue mixing, adding in one egg at a time.
- Spread mixture evenly onto the bottom of a 9x13 pan, which has been prepared using cooking spray.
- Combine “cake mix” ingredients, and sprinkle over the top of the sweet potato layer. Cover evenly.
- Sprinkle on chopped pecans, and pour melted butter over the top of all the layers.
- Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until the top layer is golden brown and slightly crispy.
- Allow the bars to cool completely before slicing and removing from the pan.