Spirited Southern Sweet Potato Bars


I wanted to find a dessert recipe to use up my apple and sweet potato casserole from Thanksgiving, so I made these last weekend for our Holiday Party.

After searching endlessly in the Internet, I saw this recipe on Quaker Oatmeal website. I was pleasantly surprised at how delicious they turned out. It had a perfect combination of sweetness and smoothness that you’d normally find in a pie, yet with a little bit of earthiness (from the sweet potatoes), along with the oatmeal and sugar topping that gave it a really nice crunchy texture. Definitely a winner for the use of leftover sweet potatoes.

Ingredients
2 cups Quaker Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups mashed cooked sweet potato or canned pumpkin (I used my sweet potato and apple casserole, mashed in a food processor)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons bourbon or 1/2 teaspoon rum extract (optional)
1 cup chopped pecans

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
  2. In large bowl, combine oats and flour; mix well. Remove 2/3 cup and add salt and red pepper; set aside for filling. To remaining oat-flour mixture, add butter, granulated sugar and vanilla; blend with electric mixer on low to medium speed until crumbly. Reserve 1 cup for topping. Press remaining mixture evenly onto bottom of prepared pan.
  3. Bake 15 minutes; remove pan from oven. In separate bowl, combine sweet potato, eggs, brown sugar, bourbon and reserved 2/3 cup oat-flour mixture; mix well. Spread filling over warm crust. Add nuts to reserved topping mixture; mix well. Sprinkle evenly over sweet potato filling.
  4. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until topping is light golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack; cut into bars. Serve at room temperature. Store in refrigerator tightly covered.
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