The first question people usually ask me when they learn about my food blog, is, "why?". Well... The truth is, there are a lot of different reasons that spring to mind: I like to cook (and eat!); I enjoy writing to keep my sanity while raising two young kids; food styling appeals to my artistic side; and, of course, I starting blogging as a way to share great recipes!
The idea was really sparked last Thanksgiving. We spent a busy day cooking many, many dishes, and a busy night hosting many, many people for dinner. After the leftovers were put away, and the last fork was dried, I began getting requests to forward the recipes we had put together. I had always cooked a mix of my own recipes, family secrets, and, of course, things found on my favorite blogs, when I got to thinking: rather than just forwarding the instructions, why not start writing about them!
This Sweet Potato Casserole with Brown Sugar Pecan Streusel was one of the dishes that I made that night, and created the buzz that soon brought this blog about. Based off of a famous Ruth's Chris Steak House recipe, I tweaked it to fit my tastes. Butter-whipped sweet potatoes are baked with vanilla, sugar, and egg to create a fluffy and satisfying side dish. Topped with a brown sugar-glazed butter pecan crunch... well, this vegetable side dish is probably the best sweet potato recipe ever. Seriously. By the end of dinner, not a smidgen was left in the house.
Sweet Potato Casserole with Brown Sugar Pecan Streusel
modified from Ruth's Chris Steak House
4 pounds sweet potatoes (about 4 large potatoes)
1 cup sugar (3/4 cup if you like things less sweet)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 stick of butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Topping
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup chopped raw pecans
Preheat your oven to 375F.
Wash and dry your sweet potatoes. Take a large microwave safe bowl, and add a splash of water to the bottom. Fork-prick the potatoes several times and add two potatoes to the bowl.
Meanwhile, butter a large baking dish. Reserve.
After the sweet potatoes have steamed and cooled, scoop the flesh into the bowl of a stand mixer.
Melt the stick of butter and add to the potatoes. Combine the white sugar, 2 lightly beaten eggs, vanilla, and salt to the bowl, and mix well on the stand mixer. Start on low speed and gradually beat on medium high speed for 3 minutes. Add a splash of half & half if the mixture seems too thick.
After mixing, pour the sweet potatoes into the greased baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes.
If you are reserving for a later occasion, allow the casserole to cool, and then refrigerate, covered, for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature about 30 minutes before baking and add the topping.
For the Topping
Roughly chop the pecans and add to a small mixing bowl. Combine the melted 1/3 cup of butter, flour, cinnamon, and light brown sugar to the pecans. Stir to combine.
Sprinkle the topping evenly over the room temperature sweet potato casserole. Bake, uncovered, in a 375F oven for 12-15 minutes, or until golden and crunchy.
Allow to set for 20 minutes before serving.