The Pioneer Woman's Sweet Potato Casserole or is it a Dessert Crisp? You be the judge...

How exciting!  This is my first submission to my newest food blog, "Foodie Fans of the Pioneer Woman". This blog is a brainchild of mine, from many months ago. I never got around to launching it until last month.

My food blogger friend, Muneeba, is co-hosting our bi-weekly roundup of Ree Drummond's hugely popular website, "The Pioneer Woman Cooks".  Muneeba, of "An Edible Symphony"  went first, in choosing the category of Thanksgiving Sides or Desserts.  Great choice, Muneeba, because P-Dub (as she calls herself) had a lot to choose from.  I zeroed in on her sweet potatocasserole for two reasons-- it looked simple, and I had lots of pecans (do you say PEE-CANS or PE-KAHNS?).  I wondered if my family would miss my Candied Yams (with melted marshmallows on half to appease the grownup kids) , but this year, I wanted to be different.  P-Dub always does a great tutorial, but once again-- let me show you how I did it:

Technically, these are Garnet Yams.  Wash 'em and I like to poke a few holes in the top.

In the meantime, let's make the topping. You can do this at any stage of making this, but I'm all about efficiency. It's the German in me, I think.

One cup of pecans, and 1 cup of brown sugar...

Chop the pecans-- fine, but not too fine (hence, I didn't use the food processor).

You need 3/4 of a stick of butter, and 1/2 cup of flour. You know the drill-- a pastry cutter, two knives, your fingers...whatever works for you. Mix it, till crumbly. Set it aside, or you can even make this a day ahead.

Roast these babies at 375F for 30-35 minutes, or until fork tender. I love to roast vegetables; they make everything taste so much better. Why would anyone buy canned Yams? I don't get it!

These are roasted perfectly. Let them cool long enough so you don't burn your hands.

Cut them in half and scoop out the "meat". I like to use an ice cream scoop. A spoon works fine, too.

I was "fasting" for dinner, but I ate some of the skins and pulp. Yams are good for you-- and it's guilt-free. Well, in this state it is-- I'm about to go down the road of sin, Pioneer Woman Style.

You need two eggs, whisked. Kosher salt. Vanilla. Not imitation stuff, but real vanilla, please. I decided to add just a teenie weenie bit of pumpkin pie spice-- less than 1/2 teaspoon. That's not in P-Dub's recipe.

 Now, for the white sugar. 1 cup of it.  NOTE: The next time I make this (and I shall), I will use half the white sugar, but it's up to you.

Now, let's talk about texture.  I don't like my yams to be like baby food puree'.  I like it a little chunky.  I'm also quick to take good shortcuts. Instead of a masher, I used a hand mixer. I broke it down just enough to be slightly chunky. Now add the eggs and the milk...

I decided to make these as individual ramekins. With the leftover yams, I poured it into a larger dish...just in case I needed it.

Green is my favorite color.  I found these ramekins at Kohl's Online and they're by Rachel Ray. Surfing the net, with my purse close by is a very dangerous thing.

Sprinkle the sweet potatoes/yams with the topping...

I made these in the morning, to I put them in the refrigerator until dinnertime which was at 5:30.

When you're ready, bake these at 400F for about 30 minutes.

These smell incredibly good. I wish I could describe it other than "yummy"!

A hush came over the dinner table when this was tasted.  Eyes lit up.  Who needs marshmallows?!

This is one of those side dishes that you want to devour all at once. The concensus was that this very sweet-- almost a dessert.  I think the white sugar could easily be decreased, without sacrificing good flavor. But, you decide yourself.  Is this a side dish or dessert?

I think it's both.  I had extra pecan topping.  Hmmmm, I have pears and cranberries. I think this would make a delicious crumble!  I have to give some credit to George Gaston of " A nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse" for also inspiring me to make this recipe. You see, he posted his mother's version of this (pretty close) and he was the once who suggested serving this in individual ramekins. Thanks, George!

You can print the recipe, at the very bottom of this posting. If you're reading this via email/feed burner, you'll need to jump to my blog to do this.

On Monday, Muneeba and I will choose the two winners of our Pioneer Woman Cooks Cookbook Giveaway. You still have time to enter.  We're going to choose the winners randomly. I have to say, I've thoroughly enjoyed reading your comments.  There are so many recipes that I still want to learn how to make-- biscotti, homemade pasta and many more.  In case you want to be included with our round-up, tomorrow (Sunday) is your deadline to submit your blog recipe. Muneeba and I will announce the winners and post the submissions we receive on Monday, November 30th. The details are right below:

Here are your oh-so-simple guidelines to becoming a part of our bi-weekly (every two weeks) Pioneer Woman recipe roundup. Please become a FOLLOWER, since we're all PW Family:

1. Make a Thanksgiving Side-Dish or Dessert from Ree's website. Then post about it on your blog.

2. Include a link to this site in your post, and mention that you're submitting the recipe to "Foodie Fans of The Pioneer Woman". We'd love it, if you include our badge in your post.

3. Send an email to pwfoodie(at)gmail(dot)com. In it you must give us:
Your nameYour blog's name & URL
Your post's permalinkA 300 px photo representing your recipe (please use your own, not Ree's)4. Leave a comment on this site, under this post, in response to the following question: What kind of recipe/dish have you always wanted to make, but never got around to it?

5. Deadline for all of the above is Sunday, Nov 29th by noon (PST).

On to the next Pioneer Woman recipe decision for our next roundup, on December 14th. I'll announce the category choice(s), since it's my turn next!

One true Pioneer Woman Fan,

Pioneer Woman's Sweet Potato CasseroleOur family LOVED this side dish/dessert at Thanksgiving. I ...
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