Inspiration from the Sweet Air of Atlanta- Sweet Potato Bars w/ Chocolate

by on September 15, 2010

Atlanta Food Blog Forum rocked!  Until this last week our only experiences w/ Atlanta have entailed epic misguided treks within the Atlanta International Airport courtesy of Delta and delayed red-eye flights. Not pleasant.

However, we’re not ones to judge an area by its airports (or freeways for that matter), so we were excited to experience a true tidbit of Atlanta.  With the excuse of FBF’s Atlanta Seminar propelling us back to the east coast, we barefooted our way past TSA, watched a movie and a half, ate a few pretzels, then gathered our bags and settled into the warm, sweet air of Atlanta.

After getting outside the mini-city of Hartsfield-Jackson, the people became as sweet as their tea.  On Sunday, the day after the seminar, we had arranged a later flight back home so we’d have a bit of time to go exploring.

We bypassed the freeways and drove the lush tree lined streets, hunting down local banh mi, pho, fried chicken, and finally landing at their culinary market mecca of Dekalb Farmer’s Market.  The banh mi was excellent, the pho not-too-shabby, and the fried chicken was a deliciously fascinating discovery of a local style in battering and frying the bird.

But the wow-factor light up after entering into the air-conditioned building housing the Dekalb Farmer’s Market.  Produce, spices, and other culinary foodstuffs from around the world filled their shelves and bins. It is a place where expat Jamaicans hunt down their prized habaneros (“I can’t live wit-out me spice!” was rhythmically share with us), nearly every type of spice, flour, and grain is awaiting its ethnic home, and the produce, meats, and cheeses of nearly every desire is available for discovery.

Amongst all the overflowing bins of fruits and veggies, it was of course the Southern classics which excelled in the quality.  Collared greens raised lush and hearty in the southern air.  And the sweet potatoes!  Loved beyond the holidays down here, the sweet potatoes were gorgeous copper prizes begging to be cooked.  We spotted them from a body & cart packed aisle away and were immediately inspired.

As soon as got back home, the craving for sweet potato still filled our lungs and led to the inspiration for this recipe.  Starting with one of my favorite bar crusts (a graham cracker crust with fresh ginger), they were next layered with a dark chocolate softened with bit of milk, then finished off with beautiful, sweet potato pie filling.  Top ‘em with a dollop or two of whipped cream if you really want to go crazy!

-Todd

Sweet Potato Bars w/ Chocolate Recipe

Yield: 12 bars

Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

To make sweet potato puree, you can either bake skin on sweet potatoes for about 1.5 hrs(until soft) @ 375 °F, then peel & press through fine mesh sieve, or you can peel, boil for @ 20-30 min or until soft then press through fine mesh sieve.  Baking is slightly more flavorful, boiling is much quicker.

Ingredients:

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 8 oz (225g) Graham Crackers, finely ground
  • 3 oz (85g) finely ground  Almonds (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh Ginger, finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (one stick or 113g) unsalted Butter, melted

Chocolate Layer

  • 1/2 pound Dark Chocolate, sweetened, cut in small pieces
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) Milk

Sweet Potato Layer

  • 2 cups (455g) Sweet Potato Puree
  • 3 lrg Eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher or Sea Salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground Cloves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh Ginger, finely grated
  • 1 cup (200g) Sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (360ml) Milk
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) Heavy Cream

Whipped Cream (optional)

  • 1 cup (240ml) Heavy Cream
  • 1 teaspoon Powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Pecans for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Combine graham cracker crust ingredients in a bowl & mix until well combined.  Spread into an even layer in a 9"x9" baking dish.
  2. Gently melt chocolate in a bowl over steaming water (bain marie). Add milk and mix over heat until completely combined.  Pour over graham cracker crust (spread & gently shake to even out) and set aside to cool at least 15 min before layering in the following sweet potato mix.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F

  4. Combine sweet potato ingredients in a bowl and mix until well combined.   Gently pour over chocolate layer and put baking dish in middle rack of oven.  Bake for 40-50 min, or until outer 1" appears set (inner will still have a little wiggle when gently shook.) Set aside to cool, then put in the refrigerator until fully chilled.
  5. Slice with a clean knife into even squares, wiping knife clean between each cut. Garnish with whipped cream and/or pecans.
Recipe Source: WhiteOnRiceCouple.com.

Hello! All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use our images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or simply link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you. And remember in making the recipes, if using table salt instead of kosher or sea salt, make sure you reduce the salt amount.


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{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jessica @ How Sweet September 16, 2010 at 3:38 am

Sweet potato bars?! I have to get on this gravy train. Those look incredible.

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2 Phoo-d September 16, 2010 at 3:50 am

These look perfectly Southern! They would make an excellent portable alternative to pumpkin pie. I love the fall colors in your photos.

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3 Liz September 16, 2010 at 4:24 am

What a great flavor combination!

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4 SMITH BITES September 16, 2010 at 5:40 am

THIS is swoon-worthy and a must-make! Someday I want to sign up for one of your tours so that I can see the world thru your eyes – would be a fabulous time indeed! You guys are just the bestest evah!

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5 The Nervous Cook September 16, 2010 at 5:57 am

Oh, wow: I read a lot of food blogs and look at a lot of food pictures, but that lovely opening photo actually just made me go, “Ooooh,” out loud — that never happens! These sound incredible, and are just the thing for this sweet-potato kick I’m totally on right now.

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6 Monica September 16, 2010 at 6:17 am

Oh man, if I would have known about the farmer’s market, I would have moved my flight to a later time as well. Except I would have been in trouble or trying to buy stuff and stuff in my suitcase! I’m not a sweet potato person, but I got to say these look delish – love the inspiration

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7 Victoria September 16, 2010 at 6:49 am

Ah, Honeychile,

I may have been born and raised in NYC and live here now, but I lived in Atlanta for eight years – and when I moved away, I had a hard time driving over the South Carolina border on my journey north. For the next five years, every time I drove back down, as soon as I got to a place where the dirt was red – the color of those sweet potato bars – I breathed a sigh of relief.

These look delicious. I guess the next time I fry up on ole chicken and make sweet tea, I’ll have these for dessert!

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8 Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets September 16, 2010 at 6:51 am

Gorgeous and delicious! Love the colors here. I made vegan sweet potato bars a while back but love the idea of adding a chocolate layer.

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9 Lora September 16, 2010 at 6:59 am

These look autumn wonderful.

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10 Prerna@IndianSimmer September 16, 2010 at 7:05 am

Coming from Indian I would never think of making a sweet potato dessert let alone adding it with chocolate! Love the recipe. Gotta give it a try!
I also went to Banh Mi the next day after FBF seminar. I wonder where you were sitting :-) Food was really great.
It was a pleasure meeting you guys!

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11 Amy September 16, 2010 at 7:15 am

These look amazing and autumnal. I will definitely be making these for my next family get-together. Thank you for sharing!

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12 Tickled Red September 16, 2010 at 7:34 am

Totally Wicked!! Sorry but it had to be said :) I know what I am making very, very soon.

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13 The Blue-Eyed Bakers September 16, 2010 at 7:47 am

Yay for fabulous fall flavors in desserts! We adore sweet potatoes and can only imagine how delicious these gorgeous looking things are!

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14 Tracy September 16, 2010 at 9:19 am

Oh my gosh, I am in LOVE with these! They’re going on my must-make list immediately!!

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15 Beth September 16, 2010 at 12:09 pm

What a great new way to use sweet potatoes! The graham cracker crust with fresh ginger just puts this one over the top and I can’t wait to try it. Will definitely be going on my menu for Thanksgiving this year!! It was wonderful to meet you guys this weekend. Any time you want to visit Nashville, just let me know and I’ll make sure you have a great time! ;-)

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16 Jenna September 16, 2010 at 2:00 pm

Yum–I’d never have thought to make sweet potatoes into a cookie. What a great idea!

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17 The Teacher Cooks September 16, 2010 at 2:47 pm

I have eaten sweet potatoes my entire life and never once had them with chocolate. These bars look divine!

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18 Carolyn Binder September 16, 2010 at 5:17 pm

Sweet potatoes and chocolate? I cannot wait to try these. I have 50 pounds of sweet potatoes from my garden just begging for a little creativity! These might go on my Thanksgiving menu…

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19 Sues September 16, 2010 at 7:04 pm

Holy cow! These have been bookmarked and will be made ASAP! Perfect fall treat :) :)

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20 marla {family fresh cooking} September 17, 2010 at 6:20 am

Oh my, I am going crazy for these sweet potato bars. I am way into sweet potatoes whether in sweets or savories. With chocolate, ginger, cream & graham cracker I am more than swooned. So great to read Atlanta was a great time & the FBF was a huge success.

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21 Julia September 17, 2010 at 9:21 am

Amazing combination. 3 ingredients I LOVE!! I can’t wait to try these.

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22 Scott at Real Epicurean September 17, 2010 at 9:34 am

Now there’s a flavour combination you don’t see every day!

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23 Tessa September 17, 2010 at 9:39 am

The moment I saw this recipe I knew I HAD to make it. Your food posts have been looking increasingly delicious lately!!

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24 the urban baker September 17, 2010 at 11:10 am

I am so making these this weekend. thanks for making me run out to get sweet potatoes!

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25 Gabriel Hummel September 17, 2010 at 11:40 am

Sweet potato desserts are by far some of the most underrated options in the fall.

Pies, bars, cookies, all are heavenly and guaranteed to add to your caloric combustion for the upcoming holiday season (which is a very good thing I might add).

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26 Stella September 17, 2010 at 7:07 pm

Hey Guys, glad you had a nice time in Atlanta. It really is a wonderful place once one knows where to go and how to get there;) I’m from Atlanta/Decatur, and my favorite thing to do when I go home is eat lunch at The Dekalb Farmer’s Market. I’ve been going there since I was the baby in my Mom’s cart (smile).
Oh, and your sweet potato bars look wonderful-so nice!

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27 Liz @ Blog is the New Black September 17, 2010 at 7:36 pm

What a unique idea- love it!

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28 grace September 17, 2010 at 11:38 pm

my compliments to the baker! you’ve created something really different and totally delicious!

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29 delicieux September 18, 2010 at 12:46 am

Wow, these look AMAZING!!! I’ve never used sweet potato in sweet dishes, but I definitely will be after seeing this post as these sweet potato bars with chocolate look SO delicious and beautiful.

PS I love you photos, they are always so beautiful and amazing. I’m in awe.

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30 Colleen @ The Taste Place September 18, 2010 at 10:09 pm

Those look positively delicious! Combines two of my favorite foods. I think I’ll definitely have to make those for some of our holiday parties this Fall and Winter.

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31 bunkycooks September 19, 2010 at 12:09 pm

I am so glad you all were able to explore the DeKalb Farmers’ Market. It is definitely an adventure! Thanks for heading East for FBF and I hope you will come back again soon for some more Southern hospitality and sweet tea! Miss you guys!

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32 Soma September 19, 2010 at 7:57 pm

I have never encountered a more unique and exquisite recipe with sweet potatoes! The only dessert with the sweet potatoes that comes to my mind instantly is a childhood memory of them boiled, rolled into balls and deep fried and then dunked in a spiced syrup :-)

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33 LimeCake September 21, 2010 at 6:37 pm

wow sweet potato and chocolate. whodathunkit. this looks delicious!

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34 Maranda September 23, 2010 at 8:08 am

These look so good! I love sweet potatoes but would never have thought to put them in a bar…let alone with chocolate! Thanks for sharing! I’m glad your experience with Atlanta was much improved this go round.

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35 promissory note September 24, 2010 at 8:35 pm

oh awesome. sweet potato bars….unbelievable. i bet i would try it, & would love to have more such recipes from you.

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36 Zoe October 5, 2010 at 9:54 am

Do you know how long these will last in the fridge? I want to make them ahead for a party this weekend.

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37 White on Rice Couple October 5, 2010 at 11:28 am

We’ve had batches we’ve kept for a week and they were still great. After a few days the crust starts to get a little softer, but it is still delicious.

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38 Zina October 14, 2010 at 3:17 pm

I am trying to get into baking more and your wonderful post and mouth-watering photos just pushed me over the edge. Thank you! I will definitely be adding you to my blogroll.

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39 Beth October 19, 2010 at 9:46 am

So sweet! I love the pecan garnish on end like that.

Do you know if these would freeze well?

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