A few additional tips. It's easier, and safer, to cut the sweet potatoes using a very sharp knife and rocking the blade back and forth while applying downward pressure. Second, a coffee grinder will reduce the pecans to mostly pecan dust, which mixes better with the rest of the topping ingredients and is easier to get inside the sliced sweet potatoes. Finally, these can take awhile to bake depending on the size of the sweet potatoes, so if they're not quite done after the first baking, a minute or two in the microwave should finish them.
Big shout out to my friend Grace for this treat!
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Salt and black pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup chopped pecans
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place a sweet potato between two chopsticks for stability and knife guidance. Every ¼-inch along the length of the sweet potato, slice ⅞ of the way through, or until the knife hits the chopsticks.
- Brush the sweet potatoes with the vegetable oil. Place in a small baking dish and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Bake the sweet potatoes for 30 to 40 minutes, or until soft.
- Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven, and increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, ground cinnamon, chopped pecans, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and kosher salt. Stir to mix.
- Spoon the maple syrup mixture over and in between the baked sweet potato slices, pushing the pecan pieces in between each slice.
- Return the filled sweet potatoes to the oven and bake an additional 8 to 10 minutes.
- Remove the baked sweet potatoes from the oven and spoon any cooking liquid over the potatoes. Allow them to cool slightly before serving.