These magnificent Sweet Potato Praline Brownies won the Dessert Category of the 2012 Sweet Rewards Recipe Contest, sponsored by the Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission.
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- 1 large sweet potato
- 5 large egg whites
- 1 cup softened unsalted butter, divided
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cup chopped pecans, divided
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- Prick sweet potato all over with a fork. Wrap in a wet paper towel, and microwave on high heat for 5 minutes. Continue to microwave in 2-minute intervals until soft. Set aside to cool. Once potato is cool, peel, mash, and reserve pulp.
- Preheat oven to 350º. Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
- In a large bowl, beat egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 1/2 cup butter and sugar. Using the paddle attachment, beat at medium speed until combined.
- Add cocoa powder, baking powder, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Gently fold in egg whites to combine. Stir in 1/2 cup pecans and sweet potato. Transfer to prepared pan, and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until center is firm.
- In a heavy saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter over medium heat. And brown sugar and salt, and bring to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and slowly whisk in evaporated milk. Return saucepan to stove and bring mixture to a boil again. Boil, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches 230º on a candy thermometer (soft ball stage).
- Remove from heat, and stir for 2 minutes; let cool to lukewarm. Add remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla and confectioners’ sugar. Stir until combined. Pour mixture over warm brownies, and top with remaining 1 cup pecans. Let cool to room temperature before cutting.