Are you a marshmallow or pecan topping kind of person when it comes to your sweet potato casserole? We always did the brown sugar pecan topping (which I would gladly eat by itself!) so it always seemed weird to me to have marshmallows on something at the dinner table. Not that the pecan topping has less sugar but marshmallows are so obviously a dessert food.
And you want to know something weird? I do NOT believe in dessert first. Maybe it’s what was instilled in me as a child that has survived adulthood. As a kid I almost always followed the rules so marshmallows still just seem wrong.
That’s why this fall I knew I had to create a proper dessert highlighting the combination of sweet potato and marshmallows, because there’s no doubt it’s a great one. I have an love for bar desserts and all things homemade so Sweet Potato Pie Bars with a scratch made marshmallow topping just felt right. I hope you’ll try the recipe out because it’s a good one!!
Taste: Sweet without being overpoweringly so. There’s only a 1/4 cup sugar in the sweet potato filling because we’re relying on the natural sweetness of the potatoes. You can even leave the sugar out if you’d prefer, the marshmallow topping is plenty sweet as it is.
Texture: My favorite part! Crust is thick (there’s nothing I hate more than a measly thin crust!) and buttery, filling is ultra smooth and creamy, and the marshmallow topping is sticky yet light as a cloud. MMM.
Ease: As long as you follow the recipe instructions your sweet potato pie bars should turn out beautiful!
Appearance: Gotta love the contrast of layers and especially the toasted marshmallow on top!
Pros: Fun twist on a classic pie / casserole.
Would I make this again? 100% yes. Sweet potatoes + marshmallow = ideal comfort food.
How to make Sweet Potato Pie Bars
Yield: 9 large or 16 small bars
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook: 2 hours
Feel free to leave the sugar out of the sweet potato filling if you prefer things less sweet.
18 full graham crackers
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 cups (16 ounces) sweet potato puree
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon bourbon (or 1 teaspoon vanilla)
1 teaspoon fine salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the crust:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with foil.
Place the graham crackers, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add the melted butter and pulse until the mixture is moistened. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and let cool completely. Keep oven at 350°F.
For the filling:
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat all the sweet potato filling ingredients until well combined. Pour over the graham cracker crust and bake for 40 minutes, or until set but still slightly wiggly in the middle. Let cool to room temperature.
For the marshmallow topping:
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan set over medium-high heat, combine the sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil and continue to cook until a candy thermometer registers exactly 240°F. Immediately remove from heat. Turn the mixture on low speed and carefully and gradually drizzle the syrup into the egg whites. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until the mixture is thick and glossy and looks like marshmallow fluff, about 7 minutes longer. Add in the vanilla and beat until combined.
Spread the marshmallow topping evenly over the sweet potato layer. Use a kitchen torch to gently torch the marshmallow layer until lightly golden. Alternatively, place the pan under the broiler and broil for 1 minute, or until lightly golden. Don’t step away – the broiler can go from toasted to burnt FAST!
Refrigerate the pan for at least 1 hour before cutting into squares and serving. The squares can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, though they are best served soon after the marshmallow is made.
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