Sweet Potato Jack O' Lantern

From www.foodfanatic.com, by Brianna Hobbs
Sweet Potato Jack O' Lantern

Sweet Potato Jack O' Lantern Photo

Your family and friends are going to love this Sweet Potato Jack O' Lantern!

Mashed sweet potatoes with a little bit of butter and brown sugar, this simple dish gets a spooky makeover with the addition of some sweet candied pecans and toasted marshmallows. It would make the perfect addition to a Halloween-themed potluck or buffet. Or even just a fun meal at home!

Holiday food is so much fun! I love to try and get creative with my food whenever a holiday rolls around.

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Red Velvet in February, lots of festive sweets like my favorite gluten free eggnog sugar cookies, gingerbread men, and peppermint in December. And of course there is Thanksgiving in November, lots of seasonal flavors and a few fun turkeys.

Sweet Potato Jack O' Lantern Picture

And then there is Halloween. Halloween could be easily overlooked as just a candy holiday. Lots of candy and of course #PumpkinEverything.

But Halloween has so much more potential! Just get creative and make some creepy ghouly food. Or something cute and fun like this Sweet Potato Jack O' Lantern.

I love telling stories about my childhood! Every other post I write I say “I made this with my mom when I was a little girl,” or “this reminds me of one of my childhood favorites.” It might make you think that my mom was just this amazing, creative, baking and cooking whiz! Well, my mom is amazing and creative, but she would be the first to say that she isn’t a cooking whiz. She really doesn’t like cooking at all.

Which is probably one of the reasons that I love it! As soon as it became apparent that I had a love for food and a knack for cooking she let me take over the kitchen. She really nurtured my love of cooking, and encouraged me along the way.

Sweet Potato Jack O' Lantern Image

Anyways, this brings us to Halloween Potatoes.

We ate Halloween potatoes all the time when I was little (under age 5.) The Halloween potatoes of my childhood were nothing like this Sweet Potato Jack O' Lantern, but they inspired it none the less. My parents would often make mashed potatoes using half sweet potatoes and half plain ol’ russet potatoes. They would get me to eat them by calling them “Halloween Potatoes.” So of course they were my favorite!

You really can get kids to eat almost anything if you give it a fun name. Or make it look like a Jack O' Lantern.

I hope that your family enjoys this fun recipe as much as mine!

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Ingredients

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon salt
  • 4-5 marshmallows

For the Smile:

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

For the Candied Pecans:

  • 1/2 cup pecan halves
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Directions

  1. Peel and chop the sweet potatoes and steam over boiling water until fork tender.
  2. Mash the sweet potatoes (I used my Smood, it made quick work of it!) and add the butter, cinnamon, 1/4 cup of brown sugar and season to taste with salt. I cut the butter into pats and then let it melt in the hot potatoes instead of melting it ahead of time.
  3. Cut a few marshmallows into triangles (for the eyes.) I trimmed the remaining marshmallows to be more tooth sized by cutting them in half. Toast your marshmallows using a kitchen torch or by putting them under the broiler. Let cool.
  4. In a sauté pan toast the pecans with the butter, cinnamon, chile powder, and brown sugar. Be careful not to burn them! Remove them from the pan when they start to become fragrant. (these aren’t candied pecans like what you’d normally buy at the store, but they are quick and easy and taste great! You can use store bought candied pecans, or your favorite candied pecan recipe instead, if you prefer.)
  5. Assemble your Sweet Potato Jack O' Lantern by spreading the mashed potatoes in a pie dish or on a round serving platter. I used the back of a spoon to shape it, giving it lines like a pumpkin.
  6. Decorate your Jack O' Lantern however you’d like using the pecans and marshmallows. I made a brown sugar smile by cutting a smile shape into a piece of wax paper and using it as a stencil to sprinkle the brown sugar on. Then I used the marshmallows trimmed into triangles as the eyes, a pecan half for a nose, and a few toasted marshmallow teeth. I used the rest of the pecans to make a border.
  7. You can decorate your Sweet Potato Jack O' Lantern however you want!

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KitchenIQ Potato Tool

Dreamfarm Smood

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Lodge Cast Iron Skillet

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