I’m not going to lie. I haven’t been a fan of sweet potatoes for most of my life. It all goes back to my aversion to most orange foods. Which ones don’t I like? Well, it’s easier to list the orange foods that I actually like instead: carrots and oranges. That’s it.
Well, and now sweet potatoes. To clarify: American Sweet Potatoes.
I started eating sweet potatoes because they’re healthy. According to Health.com, one baked, medium-sized sweet potato contains 438% of your daily value of vitamin A (a white potato contains 1%), 37% of your vitamin C, and some calcium, potassium, and iron too. All this at just 105 calories!
First I just baked them and ate them with a little butter and salt and pepper. Yum. Then, I started making sweet potato fries, sweet potato chips, and this incredible Sweet Potato Gratin. I branched out with a hearty vegetarian stew and and a most beautiful salad.
And now, I can add ‘desserts’ to my repertoire.
This time of year we’re all about the sweets and treats. The diet has been set aside and company is always coming or going. That means you’ve always got to have a delicious treat on hand to serve alongside the coffee, tea, and conversation. Of course, cookies are an easy way to keep your sweets pantry topped up (do you participate in any cookie exchanges?), but sometimes you’re looking to serve something a little bit different. I know I am.
I think that these bars fit that bill. With a base of tender and delectable shortbread, the flavours of the season are represented in the sweetly spiced topping made of mashed American sweet potatoes, mixed with cinnamon and nutmeg. Plus, since the topping is made of such a healthy ingredient, they’re actually good for you!
This dessert or snack is easy to prepare and will be beloved by all.
SWEET POTATO SHORTBREAD BARS (36 bars)
What You’ll Need:
1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
½ cup (125 mL) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup (75 mL) icing sugar
2 tbsp (30 mL) cornstarch
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
1½ cups (375 mL) cooked mashed American sweet potatoes
¼ cup (60 mL) melted unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
½ cup (125 mL) all-purpose flour
¼ cup (50 mL) white sugar
¼ cup (50 mL) packed brown sugar
2 tsp (10 mL) ground cinnamon
1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
½ tsp (2 mL) ground nutmeg
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
Garnish: icing sugar
What You’ll Do
- For the crust: Place all ingredients in food processor and pulse until combined. Press mixture
firmly into parchment-paper lined 9 x 9-inch (23 cm) baking pan and bake in preheated 350°F/180°C oven for 12 minutes. Remove from oven. Reduce heat to 325°F/165°C.
- For the filling: Puree sweet potatoes, melted butter, eggs and vanilla together in a blender until smooth. Combine remaining topping ingredients together in a large bowl. Stir in sweet potato mixture until smooth.
- Spread filling evenly over crust. Bake until centre is set, about 25 minutes. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
- Refrigerate until cold. Cut into squares. Place icing sugar in small fine-mesh strainer and tap side lightly to dust tops of bars with icing sugar.
Thanks to the American Sweet Potato Marketing Institute for sharing this recipe with me to share with you. It was created by Chef Sara Harrel.