Sweet Potato Dark Chocolate Bars

This month for the Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned to Finding Joy in My Kitchen. After digging through some delicious sounding recipes such as White Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese, Zucchini “Pizza”, and Healthier Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars with Crumble Topping, I finally decided to make these sweet potato dark chocolate bars. It seems that I have not been able to get my fill of sweet potato lately.

These bars could have been made with pumpkins puree, which would have been easier because all I would’ve had to do is pop open a can. But I decided to go ahead and cook up some sweet potato and dig out my food processor to make puree. Was it worth it? Definitely. These bars are like sweet potato cheesecake, with a dense-cakey (almost sugar cookie-like) crust and a granola-dark chocolate topping. I have never used granola for a topping (only oats) and really enjoyed the extra crunch it added. I used one of my favorite store-bought granolas that has pumpkin seeds in it to complete the fall-ness of these bars.

Also, in the original post she wondered if this recipe would also work with a homemade yellow cake mix. So took up this challenge and went ahead and made my own homemade cake mix and used it in this recipe. Sure enough it worked! I’ll be sharing the recipe for the homemade mix tomorrow.


SWEET POTATO DARK CHOCOLATE BARS

Makes about 20 bars

Ingredients:

CRUST

1-18.25 oz. box yellow cake mix (homemade mix works too, about 2-1/2 cups)

4 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature

1 egg yolk

FILLING

2 cups sweet potato puree (could also substitute for pumpkin)

4 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, softened

1 egg white

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

TOPPING

1 cup granola (I used a store-bought granola with pumpkin seeds)

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch pan and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine the cake mix, butter and egg yolk together until it forms a ball of dough. Press into a the bottom of the prepared pan.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine sweet potato puree, cream cheese, egg white, sugar and spices.  Mix well until most of the lumps are blended. Pour the sweet potato puree mix over the top of the crust.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix the granola, cinnamon and dark chocolate chips together. Add the melted butter to help the ingredients stick together. Sprinkle the topping over the sweet potato filling.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. The sweet potato layer remains somewhat creamy and solidifies as it cools. Allow to cool completely and then refrigerate before cutting into bars (not necessary, but the bars cut cleaner if you chill them first).

Source: Adapted slightly from Finding Joy in My Kitchen




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