Local and seasonal: Sweet potato dish is a family favorite

December 12, 2009|By SCOTT C. ANDERSON / Special to The Herald-Mail

This recipe is the most-sought-after family favorite, a standard at all our family holiday gatherings either at home or with the in-laws. It's delightfully easy to prepare and the sugar can be reduced by using Splenda as desired.

The recipe can be adjusted in other ways. My mother puts nuts in the topping, while my immediate family prefers the topping without nuts. As for my sister Katie, who is terrific in the kitchen, she says that for every batch of the filling, you need to double the topping recipe. I follow her advice and thus the name candy bar in a bowl was created.

This recipe can easily be doubled as needed, just be sure to use a casserole pan when baking, as a bowl will cause the mixture to undercook in the middle and overcook on the edges.

Candy bar in a bowl


2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup milk
28-ounce can sweet potatoes (yams can be used)
3/4 stick salted butter
2 eggs, well beaten
1 1/2 cups sugar or Splenda



1 cup crushed corn flakes
1/2 cup brown sugar or Splenda
3/4 cup butter
1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Dissolve cornstarch in milk.

In a large mixing bowl, blend all filling ingredients and mix until well blended.

Spray cooking spray into a 9-inch-by-13-inch pan. Spread sweet potato mixture in pan and bake for 20 minutes.

For the topping, mix all topping ingredients in large saucepot over low heat, stirring often. Spread evenly over baked sweet potato mixture and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

Cook's note: Cooking temperatures are for standard ovens. If using a convection oven, decrease temperature by 25 degrees.

- Scott C. Anderson is associate food service director and chef with Shepherd University dining services.

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