First, I want to thank all of you for your warm welcome to Whole Grain Weekends. I’m so excited to see it evolve and grow, and to share with all of you.
So, the sweet potato pecan balls I made for Thanksgiving disappeared before I took a photo, so I had to make them again to get you the recipe with a proper visual. It was hard work, but we managed. My mother made these for holidays when I was a child – I think she originally got the recipe from Southern Living, and my brother and I insisted she make them every year. They are perfect for a side dish that’s quite easy to make, but very impressive looking and delicious. (Oh, and in case you’re wondering, we bought the organic shell-on pecans last year as one of our family Christmas presents, from a farmer through LocalHarvest).
Sweet Potato Pecan Balls
2 medium sweet potatoes
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
Scrub sweet potatoes and poke with fork a few times, then lay on a sheet pan and bake at 375 degrees F until completely tender when poked (about 30 minutes, depending how thick they are). Set aside until they are cool enough to handle.
Take off the skins and mash up the sweet potatoes (you could blend them in a food processor if you wanted them really smooth). Add the butter and salt to taste, and mix well. At this point, I like to chill the mash in the fridge until it firms up a bit so it’s easier to work with (about 10 minutes).
Place your chopped nuts in a shallow bowl or pie pan. Scoop about 1/3 cup of mashed sweet potato into your hands and roll it into a ball the size of a small orange. Roll the ball in the nuts until coated, and place in a baking dish. Repeat until you’ve used all your potato mixture. Now, you can chill them until you’re ready to serve. Bake your balls at 350 degrees F for about 15 minutes, until warmed through and the nuts are toasted and aromatic (this may take longer if you’ve had them in the fridge for a long time). Serve hot. Bon Appetit!