Sweet Potato Praline Brownies

These magnificent Sweet Potato Praline Brownies won the Dessert Category of the 2012 Sweet Rewards Recipe Contest, sponsored by the Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission.

Sweet Potato Praline Brownies
Yields 1
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  1. 1 large sweet potato
  2. 5 large egg whites
  3. 1 cup softened unsalted butter, divided
  4. 1 cup sugar
  5. 1 1/2 cup chopped pecans, divided
  6. 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  7. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  8. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  9. 1 cup brown sugar
  10. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  11. 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  12. 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  1. 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.
  2. Preheat oven to 350º. Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
  6. 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.
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