3-4tablespoonsbrown sugaror more to taste; can also be left out for a less sweet dish
⅔cupchopped walnutsOR pecans
2tablespoonlight brown sugar
Bake potatoes for the first time:Preheat your oven to 400°F. Pierce the potatoes with a fork, place in a large baking pan and bake until soft (time will vary depending on the size of your sweet potatoes, anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes).
Scoop out potatoes: Cut each potato in half lengthwise. Scoop out the baked insides. Try to keep the skins whole as much as possible!
Make filling:Place the potato skins back in the baking pan. Mash the baked potato flesh in a bowl until smooth. Mix in the Greek yogurt, pumpkin pie spice, maple syrup (and brown sugar, if using) and salt. Scoop this filling into the sweet potato skins (I get 6 skins out of 4 baked potatoes).
Make Topping:In a separate bowl, mix all topping ingredient. Sprinkle over the filled sweet potato skins. Bake at 400°F for 12-15 minutes.
Finish:Drizzle with extra syrup to serve, if you like, and serve hot.
Sweet Potatoes: Try to find smaller sweet potatoes, so that half a potato will be just right for one serving. It's easier to cut them in half lengthwise if they're somewhat evenly shaped.Greek yogurt: Like I menitoned in the introduction, you can use sour cream in place of the yogurt for more savory and a little more decadent sweet potatoes.Pumpkin pie spice: If you have strong feelings against this, just use ground cinnamon instead.Maple syrup: You can subsitute pancake syrup, honey, or brown sugar.Brown sugar: I would go with 3-4 tablespoons first, and then adjust from there to taste (just taste-test the filling and add more sugar if you feel it needs to be sweeter).Nuts: I have readers who have successfully made this recipe nut-free by using rolled oats in place of the walnuts/pecans.Butter: Please don't use any substitutes, butter is the only way the topping turns out the way it should.
Don't overbake the sweet potatoes the first time around: You want them to be very soft, but not blackened. Not only will they start to taste bitter, but your skins will get paper-thin and have holes in them. Not ideal for filling them later on!Sweeten to taste: Since I feed all of the recipe you see on this blog to my family, and I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old, I try to limit sugar in dishes a lot of the time.I didn’t sweeten these sweet potatoes too much, so if you’re looking for a really sweet dish, just add a few tablespoons of brown sugar to the mashed sweet potatoes.
Make Ahead Instructions:
If you need to bring them to a party (instead of serving them to guests in your own home), I suggest assembling them fully, but skipping the second bake. Refrigerate them covered with plastic wrap for up to a day.Just bring the filled skins and the topping to wherever you’re going and then put them in the oven right before serving.You can also do this if you’re the host and need to make a few appetizers ahead of time to lessen your stress – a great holiday party hack.