Monday, April 9, 2012

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Bacon Brittle

Yes, you read that correctly: "bacon brittle."


But let me back up. 

When I was browsing recipes to make for Easter, I came across this gem in a recent issue of Bon Appetit.

I have a weird relationship with sweet potatoes. Sometimes I love 'em, sometimes I can't stand 'em. The deciding factor between the two is usually the addition of an ingredient that takes away some of the cloying sweetness of the sweet potatoes. For instance, when I make baked sweet potato fries, I sprinkle them in cayenne pepper. The spice masks some of the sweet. I know sweet potatoes are considered the "perfect food" and all that, but a little sweet potato goes a LONG way in my book.

However, with the addition of miso and bacon brittle, I thought this recipe was worthy of an attempt. I'm so glad I did. It was delicious!!!!

Instead of individual servings stuffed back into the sweet potato skins, I served this "casserole" style for Easter dinner. Also, I couldn't find white miso paste. I was standing in the aisle at Fresh, becoming a bit frantic, so I texted my fun, foodie friend, Steve D., who knew exactly what to substitute: equal parts soy sauce to the the amount of miso paste called for in the recipe. I substituted the soy sauce and it worked wonderfully. However, I had to take it one step further: I also added one tablespoon of wasabi. It was the PERFECT yin to the sweet potato yang. The bacon brittle on top added a great crunchy texture and savory taste.

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Bacon Brittle


  • 4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch-wide pieces
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 6 medium sweet potatoes (6–8 ounces each)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons white miso (fermented soybean paste) (or 2 T soy sauce)
  • 1 2/3-inch piece ginger, peeled, finely grated (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 tablespoon wasabi 


  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
  • Cook bacon in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat until most of the fat is rendered and bacon is starting to crisp. Transfer bacon to a sieve set over a small bowl; reserve drippings.
  • Return bacon, 1 Tbsp. drippings, sugar, and sesame seeds to same skillet. 
    Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until sugar turns the color of milk chocolate, (It's so beautiful; you don't even need a candy thermometer to get the temperature just perfect) about 5 minutes. 
    Transfer mixture to prepared baking sheet and use a spatula to spread out evenly; let cool. Break brittle into shards. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature. 
  • Preheat oven to 400°. Place sweet potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast until tender, 45–55 minutes. Let sit until cool enough to handle.
  • Slice potatoes in half lengthwise. Working over a large bowl, scoop out flesh from 8 halves, leaving a 1/2-inch-thick layer inside skins. Place potato halves on same foil-lined baking sheet. Scoop flesh from remaining 4 halves; discard skins. Mash flesh with a whisk; add eggs, butter, miso, and ginger (and wasabi) and stir until mixture is smooth. Spoon or pipe filling into reserved skins. DO AHEAD: Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover and chill.
  • Bake potatoes until the tops are lightly puffed and golden brown, 30–35 minutes (potatoes will take longer if they've been chilled). Top potatoes with bacon-sesame brittle.
    I wish I had a picture of the final product, but it was eaten too quickly. 

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