This year my roommate and I are throwing our first ever "Friendsgiving". We decided that this time of year is about being thankful and bringing everyone we love together, and by doing so, we can remind our friends just how much they mean to us.
To mix things up and make sure no one person had to do it all, we decided to make it a potluck. But, there was a catch - every dish had to have a personal story. Whether it was a spin on their favorite dish growing up, or longstanding family tradition - we wanted to know. I decided to put my own spin on my mom's Sweet Potato Casserole (one of my favorite holiday dishes).
Once my mom found something she liked, she stuck to it. “Why fix something that ain’t broke?” she used to say in her adorable southern accent. That’s why, to this day, I still use McCormick Spices when baking. Even though my mom wasn’t a huge baker, we had every McCormick spice and extract in our house. She knew that when she needed it, the flavors and aromas when cooking with McCormick wouldn't let her down - and her Sweet Potato Casserole is definitely evidence of that!
Once I finally got my own Sweet Potato Bars in the oven, my whole house filled with the most amazing smells - all I could think of was my childhood home and my mom doing what she did best on Thanksgiving, barking orders across the kitchen as our entire house filled with so much love. And now, I get to spread the love just a little further sharing these with my friends.
Sweet Potato Streusel Bars
- 1 ¾ cups graham cracker crumbs
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup flour
- 2 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 ½ cups pecans, chopped
Sweet Potato Filling
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups sweet potato puree (40 oz. can)
- ¾ cup evaporated milk
- 1 teaspoon McCormick Vanilla Extract
- ¾ teaspoon McCormick Ground Cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon McCormick Ground Nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon McCormick Ground Ginger
For the crust:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare an 8x8 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and parchment.
- In a bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and butter.
- Press into the bottom on the baking dish.
- Bake for 8 -10 minutes, or until crumbs begin to turn golden.
For the topping:
- Combine brown sugar, flour and pecans.
- Add melted butter and mix with your hands or a fork until combined. Set aside.
For the filling:
- Puree a 40 oz. can of sweet potatoes in a food processor. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine butter and sugars. Mix on high speed until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs and mix until combined.
- Add sweet potato puree, evaporated milk, McCormick Vanilla Extract, McCormick Cinnamon, McCormick Nutmeg and McCormick Ginger. Mix until combined.
- Pour filling on top of crust and put in the oven for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, take baking dish out of the oven and spread the topping evenly over the filling. Lightly press down so topping is secure. Put baking dish back into the oven.
- Bake for another 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Set on a wire rack to cool.
- Once they are cool, cut into bars and serve. **
**Tip - I like to put the baking dish in the freezer for an hour or two before I cut them into bars. It makes for a cleaner cut!
This post was in partnership with McCormick. To explore more Thanksgiving and Christmas recipes using McCormick spices, extracts and seasoning mixes, click here!