Sweet Potato Praline Tarts Three batches. Three panels of taste testers. Three sets of rave reviews. And now, they're ready for YOU!
For YOUR taste testers, for your next dinner party, for a fabulous after school snack, for a take-to-work treat, for welcoming the new neighbors, for celebrating good news, for encouraging a discouraged soul, for ____________ (you fill in the blank). Just make it. You'll be thanking yourself over and over.
My three trial runs were all the same recipe, different pans, making each one totally unique. While they all turned out equally delicious, the first version was made in a 9" x 13 " pan and cut in squares, perfect for a picnic, a quick snack or to take to work. The second, made in a 9" round tart pan or a spring form pan made a quick dessert cut in wedges and served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The third and final version* is the one pictured above (made in individual tart pans). It will make any evening (or afternoon. for that matter) feel like a special occasion! Make it in any kind of pan you want. Just make it! Like I said, you'll be thanking yourself over and over!
- For the tarts or bars:
- ½ cup butter softened
- 1 cup light brown sugar packed
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup mashed sweet potatoes you could also use canned, fresh mashed or pureed pumpkin
- 1 cup flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- For the praline icing:
- ½ cup butter
- 1 cup light brown sugar packed
- ¼ cup half and half
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- For the praline pecans:
- 2 teaspoons butter
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 cup roughly chopped pecans
- sea salt a pinch
For the tarts (or bars). Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray with baking spray or butter and flour a 13x9x2" pan or 2 - 9" tart pans with removable bottoms or 8 - 4" individual tart pans. You can also use one 9 or 10" spring form pan for a deeper tart.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar using an electric mixer. Add eggs and vanilla extract, mix to combine. Add sweet potatoes; mix well.
In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg; mix to combine. Slowly add flour mixture to butter mixture; mix well.
Pour batter into prepared pan(s); spread evenly. Bake 15-20 for individual or 20-25 minutes for 13x9 inch pan, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. While bars (or tarts) are baking prepare pecans and praline icing. Allow tarts (bars) to cool in pan(s) for 15-20 minutes before topping with icing.
For the praline icing. Combine butter and brown sugar in a sauce pan over medium high heat; bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium low and continue to boil for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add half & half and return to boil, stirring constantly. Removed from heat.
Gradually add powdered sugar stirring until incorporated. Beat mixture until smooth. Pour icing over cake and spread with a knife to cover*. Scatter with pecans. Let icing cool and set completely before cutting into slices or squares.
For the praline pecans. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and oil lightly or spray with cooking spray.
Place butter and brown sugar in a microwave-safe bowl. Cook for 40 seconds, stirring after 20 seconds. Add pecans, stir to coat.
Turn out onto prepared pan . Bake 10-15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes until deep golden. Remove from oven, add a pinch of sea salt and stir to separate. Cool.
* ~ For the small individual tarts, I iced them as directed above (without the pecans) but reserved a bit of the icing to drizzle over each one after plating, then topped with the pecans.