Special thank you to my brother for taking over my blog this afternoon. He texted me a photo of these poppers late yesterday and I told him that I wanted “300-500 words by tomorrow.” Little did I know he’d actually write an excellent post on the train ride home from work! Now I just hope he brings some of these to Thanksgiving so I can sample one or two (or 10) for myself!
Happy Autumn, readers! I’m very honored to be guest posting on my sister’s blog. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Jessica’s brother; the self-proclaimed Jack-of-All-Trades/ Master of Everything. I’m also a handsome, young father of two amazing little princesses and husband to one wonderfully patient and beautiful wife. Now that you’ve got a little background regarding who I am, let’s get down to the reason I’ve taken over this post today (after a self-written invitation to do so).
My New York City workplace often puts together events meant to strengthen our team and build friendly relationships. Monday’s agenda included a Thanksgiving Potluck. I’ve been employed with this company only long enough to experience one other potluck and it definitely taught me a thing or two about what’s worth making, baking, and taking on a train to get it to work.
The first event was a “Throwdown for Your Hometown” and everyone was expected to bring in some type of dish that represented where they were from. Of course, being from New Jersey, what other choice did I have than to bring in something prepared with that delectable, roll of pork fat otherwise known as “Taylor Ham” (or “Pork Roll”, depending on your North or South Jersey influence). My meal of choice – an entree I dubbed “Tay-Tay’s Mac & Cheese”. And yes, it was an ooey-gooey plate of macaroni and cheese with little bits of fried pork heaven.
The only issue was that I had about five pounds of food to heat up in a standard, kitchen-sized toaster oven, and a line of about ten other people waiting to use it. Long story short, the meal was served half-warm, still received rave reviews, and taught me never to prepare something so complicated again (not to mention, pretty expensive after all was said and done).
Fast forward a few months and I’ll introduce you to an appetizer that was not only cheap, but easy to make and hella delicious! Presenting… Marshmallow Maple Sweet Potato Poppers. I know it’s a mouthful! It’s supposed to be!
These little, baby sweet potato pies were a HUGE hit at the office, and for good reason. The crisp, flaky shell made the perfect vessel for the smooth, sugary flavor of yams and cinnamon. The toasted marshmallow provided a top layer of crunch and a smokey undertone. Each treat was bite-sized; two-bites for your clean eaters and a single, popable morsel for the shameless like myself. The best part of it all was that I was able to make 48 of these “snacketizers” with a little over $10!
Assembly was a piece of cake. Easy enough for a novice chef, a fun cooking lesson with the kids, or a simple holiday side dish for an already stressed out party host. To stress the simplicity of this recipe, I’ll bring you back to that little office pantry appliance… Yes, these were prepared using a toaster oven.
- - 4 pkgs. Athens Mini Fillo Shells
- - 1 - 40 oz. can Bruce's Yams
- - 3 Tbsp. Butter - melted
- - 1 Tbsp. Maple Syrup
- - 1 Tbsp. Dark or Light Brown Sugar
- - 1/2 Tbsp. Ground Cinnamon
- - 1 bag Kraft Jet-Puffed Mini Marshmallows
- Preheat an oven or toaster oven to 350ºF.
- Drain and discard syrup from yams.
- Add yams, melted butter, maple syrup, brown sugar, and cinnamon to a large bowl.
- Mash all ingredients together and beat into a smooth paste with an electric beater
- Snip a small tip off the corner of a food storage or freezer sized ziplock bag and fill with yam mixture.
- Remove Fillo shells from package and place on a foil lined baking sheet (for easy cleanup).
- Using a plastic bag filled with yam mixture, pipe out enough of your mix to fill each shell just before the top of the crust.
- Place baking sheet with prepared shells into preheated oven for 10 minutes to warm filling.
- Remove shells from oven and carefully top each "pie" with four to five mini marshmallows.
- Turn oven to Broil, move rack to highest setting, and return pies topped with marshmallows to the oven.
- Browning marshmallows will vary depending on your oven but it will happen VERY FAST. *** Do not leave the oven unattended and keep constant watch so as not to burn your marshmallows and set off smoke alarms! ***
- Once your marshmallows are an attractive, golden-brown color, you're done.
- Remove the pies from your oven and allow to cool a few minutes before plating them.
Told you it was super easy! Now, go out and impress your friends, colleagues, in-laws, whoever. More importantly, have a Happy Thanksgiving, a Merry Christmas, and an even better New Year!
As for me, I’m sure I’ll be back someday if my sister allows it. If not, I’ll just have to hack her blog 🙂