Sweet Potato Pie Bars
Recipe type: Bar Cookies
Yield: 16 bars
  • For the crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups (204 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 9 tablespoons (128 grams) unsalted butter, chilled and diced
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • For the topping:
  • 1 (15-ounce) can sweet potato purée
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • About 2 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Butter an 8-inch-square baking dish and line the bottom with parchment, also butter a piece of aluminum foil that you'll use to cover the crust.
  2. Make the crust: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, powdered sugar, and salt. Add the butter and use a pastry blender or your fingertips to blend it into the flour as if you are making pie crust. Aim for chunks of butter that are slightly smaller than pea-sized. Add the egg yolk and mix with a wooden spoon until evenly distributed and clumps of dough hold together when pinched.
  3. Transfer the dough to the prepped pan and press it in evenly using your fingers. Chill for 10 minutes, then prick all over with a fork. Cover with the aluminum foil, buttered side down, and line with dried beans or pie weights.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and weights, then bake for another 5 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned at the edges.
  5. Make the filling: While the crust bakes, add the sweet potato purée, eggs, cream, brown sugar, buttermilk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt to a blender and blend on low until smooth. Rap the blender on the counter a few times to reduce the amount of bubbles.
  6. Pour the filling over the baked crust and bake for 10 minutes. Rotate the pan, then reduce the heat to 325°F and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until no longer jiggly in the center. Cool completely on a cooling rack, then refrigerate for at least a couple hours.
  7. When ready to serve, preheat the broiler to medium. Evenly top with marshmallows. Broil for 30 seconds, then rotate the pan, and broil until deep-golden brown all over, 1-2 minutes. (Be sure to keep a close eye on this as the marshmallows can go from golden-brown to burnt quickly.)
  8. Run a paring knife around the edge of the pan, then cut into 4 equal sections. Using a thin spatula, lift each quarter out of the pan onto a cutting board. Using a chef's knife, cut each of the quarters into 4 bars (or 8 if you prefer smaller bars).
Powdered buttermilk (mixed with water, per the instructions on the packaging) is a smart substitute, as it stays fresh (refrigerated) for far longer. For neater bars, tease apart the marshmallows, and cut in between then, rather than through them (the marshmallows won't slice very neatly). The texture of these bars is best the day of, but they are still great after a night or two in the fridge. If you have a culinary torch, use it (instead of the broiler) to toast the marshmallows as it's a more controlled process.
Recipe by A Modest Feast at http://www.amodestfeast.com/2016/11/20/sweet-potato-pie-bars/