Sweet Potato Bars with a gingersnap/graham cracker crust, a sweet potato filling flavored with your favorite fall spices, and fresh whipped cream on top tastes just like sweet potato pie only in the form of a bar.
Baked in a 9×13-inch pan, Sweet Potato Bars can be cut into 16-20 bars so they are great for feeding a crowd.
When most people think of fall cooking and baking, they think of apples and pumpkin. Sweet potatoes are often overlooked, except maybe in the South where we love our sweet potatoes year round.
Sweet potatoes work well in a variety of baked goods including cakes, cupcakes, quick breads, pies, biscuits, even brownies. You can barely distinguish the taste of them from pumpkin. But prepping fresh sweet potato is much easier than fresh pumpkin. Just bake a few sweet potatoes in the oven until very soft. Let them cool slightly and peel the skins away. The skin kind of separates from the sweet potato as it bakes and you can easily pull it off in strips. Then all you have to do is mash the sweet potato with a fork until fairly smooth, the same way you would a banana that you are going to use for banana bread. Sweet potatoes already have a very high moisture content, so there’s no need to add water or milk when you’re making sweet potato puree to bake with.
Used in these Sweet Potato Bars or any other dessert, sweet potatoes will add not only a wonderful fall flavor, but a gorgeous fall color too.
Sweet Potato Bars taste just like sweet potato pie in bar form and they are much easier for serving a crowd.
- 2 1/2 cups Graham cracker crumbs
- 1 1/2 cups gingersnap crumbs
- 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 3 cups whole milk, divided
- 1 1/2 cups mashed sweet potato
- 1 cup brown sugar, divided
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
- 8 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
- whole pecans for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium bowl, combine Graham-cracker crumbs, gingersnap crumbs, chopped pecans, and butter. Press into the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking pan.
- Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Let cool.
- In a medium saucepan, combine 2 3/4 cups milk, mashed sweet potato, and 3/4 cup brown sugar. Cook over medium heat, whisking frequently, until mixture boils. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
- In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup milk and gelatin. Let sit 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks, flour, and remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar in a medium bowl until smooth. Mixture will be thick.
- Add gelatin mixture to milk mixture and whisk to combine. Use a large measuring cup to scoop about 1 1/2 cups of the hot milk mixture. Gradually, while whisking constantly, add this hot milk mixture to the egg mixture. Pour egg mixture back into milk mixture while whisking. Stir in spices.
- Cook over medium-high heat while stirring continuously, until mixture begins to thicken. Gently boil for 2 minutes.
- Spread mixture onto prepared crust. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate for at least several hours.
- In a chilled mixing bowl, beat heavy cream with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until it starts to thicken. Turn speed down to medium-low and gradually add confectioners' sugar. Turn speed back to medium-high until medium peaks form.
- Spread whipped cream on top of chilled custard. Store covered in refrigerator.
To make mashed sweet potatoes, bake 3-4 sweet potatoes in a 400 degree oven until very soft, about 1 hour. Let cool slightly. Peel skins off and discard. Mash the pulp with a fork until fairly smooth, like you would do with a banana for banana bread. Due to the sweet potato's high moisture content, there's no need to add any liquid.
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