Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

I am excited to share this side dish. By the way, each recipe is meant to tweak for your family and friends. If you like it spicy, add more spice. If you like bacon, pile it on. Enjoy! ~ Lauren

6 sweet potatoes, even in size and scrubbed

4 tablespoons brown sugar

4 tablespoons butter, room temperature

4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

¼- 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

* Optional garnish: ½ cup pecan halves, 1 tablespoon melted butter, 1 tablespoon white or brown sugar, and ½ teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Place sweet potatoes on sheet tray or in a baking dish and bake for 1 hour or until soft. Remove from oven and let stand until cool enough to handle.

3. Split the potatoes lengthwise (not in half, but only on one side) and remove the flesh to a medium sized bowl, reserving skins. In another bowl, add brown sugar, butter and cream cheese and the all of the spices and mash and mix with a wire whisk or fork.

4. With a rubber spatula, add the sweetened butter and cream cheese mixture to the sweet potato flesh and fold in completely. Add the filling back to the potato skins and place on a half sheet tray. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

5. Optional: If using pecans, toss pecans in a small bowl with melted butter, followed by sugar and salt and place on a small baking tray or into a small dish so that nuts are evenly spread but close and touching. Then put them into the oven on the lower rack for about 3-5 minutes, or until fragrant and lightly toasted.  Once cooled enough to handle, remove from tray and use whole or chop roughly and sprinkle over baked sweet potatoes when ready to serve.

Serves 6

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