Saturday, November 10, 2012

Sweet Potato Pumpkin Pie Bars

Smooth and delicious these Sweet Potato Pie Bars are exactly what I have been looking for to replace my pumpkin pie at the Thanksgiving table. To me, regular pumpkin pie has no pizazz. With a boring crust and bland taste, it just isn't for me. I do however look forward to most other pumpkiny things that accompany the season of Fall. 

Photo borrowed from Keep Calm Creature

Photo borrowed from Cool Pumpkin Designs

See? I LOVE Pumpkin! I am just not a fan of boring old pumpkin pie. I am however a HUGE believer in tradition. Therefore I have searched high and low, and tweaked one recipe after another so that I could bring to you, (and me of course) the next best thing. 

Ladies and Gents, may I present to you, Sweet Potato Pumpkin Pie Bars with Graham Cracker Crust! You may try gingersnap crust too if you so desire. Sweet Potato Pumpkin Pie Bars are definitely an upgrade. Trade in your Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie for the newer model...Sweet Potato Bars that taste better than Pumpkin Pie! Trust me, everyone will love them.

Give your Sweet Potato Pumpkin Pie Bars 24 hours to chill in the fridge. This allows the flavors to get to know each other, AND means it's a great make-a-head recipe so you don't have to fuss with dessert last minute. By the time you pull them out for dessert, (24hrs later), they will boast pumpkin flavor. I used coffee flavored ice cream with espresso chips to top mine. WOW! I ate these Sweet Potato Pumpkin Pie Bars for breakfast, snack and dinner dessert every chance I got until they were gone.

I melt just looking at this picture.
 Sweet Potato Pumpkin Pie Bars, Graham Cracker Crust, Pumpkin Pie, Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet Potato Pumpkin Pie Bars
Slightly Adapted from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food Magazine
My additions to the recipe ingredients are in red and highly recommended.

-2 medium sweet potatoes (1 1/2 lbs total)
-2 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 18 graham crackers)
-1 cup white sugar (divided later into 1/3 and 2/3)
-1 stick unsalted butter melted
-3 additional TB unsalted butter melted
-1/2 tsp salt (divided in 1/4 and 1/4)
-1 1/2 cups ricotta (I used part skim ricotta and that worked great)
-1/2 c low fat plain Greek yogurt
-4 large eggs
-1 1/2 - 1 3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
-1 tsp vanilla
-Coffee Ice Cream with espresso chips for serving

-Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
-Throw potatoes as they are into the center rack of the oven. (no hole poking necessary)
-Bake one hour or until tender when poked with a fork.
-Cool slightly, discard skins, and mash with fork. Set aside.
-In a food processor, pulse the graham crackers until u have 2 1/4 cups crumbs.
-In food processor pulse graham cracker crumbs, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 stick melted butter, and -1/4 tsp salt. Pulse until combined.
-Press firmly into a 9x13 baking dish. Bake 13-14 minutes or until dry and set.
-Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temp to 325.
-In a rinsed out and dry food processor, measure out 1 1/2 cups of the mashed sweet
  potato into a food processor. (I had a little extra warm mashed sweet potato. I tossed in a
 little butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon and enjoyed it as a snack:))
-In the food processor with the 1 1/2 cups of sweet potato, put the ricotta, yogurt, eggs,
 1/4 tsp salt, 3 TB melted butter, 2/3 cup sugar, 1 1/2-1 3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice, and 1
 tsp vanilla. blend everything together until pureed.
-Pour the puree into the crust and bake until just set in the center. 30-35 minutes.
-Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool.
-Once it is room temperature, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours. (this allows for flavors
 to blend and pumpkin pie spice to shine through in the taste)
-Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.
-Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.
-My favorite to serve with these bars is coffee ice cream with espresso chips in it. 

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