Continued from page 3

Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until mixture is brown on top, pulls away slightly from sides of pan and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out nearly clean.

Cool in pan on a rack. Dust with sifted confectioners’ sugar, if desired. Cut into 11/4- by 13/4-inch bars. Garnish with strawberries, if desired. Makes 16 to 20 bars.

Sweet potatoes in piloncillo syrup

Here is an easy way to use piloncillo cones. You can substitute other kinds of light or dark brown sugar, such as turbinado, demerara or muscovado. You can also use the same syrup, without the butter, to poach sliced pears.

Water

1 piloncillo cone (about 6 ounces) or ½ to 3/4 cup dark brown sugar

1 canela or Mexican cinnamon stick or 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1½ pounds sweet potatoes (often labeled yams)

1 tablespoon butter, optional

Pinch of salt, optional

Combine 2 cups water and piloncillo cone or ½ cup brown sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cook over medium heat until sugar melts. Add cinnamon.

Peel sweet potatoes and cut in 3/4-inch dice. Add to syrup and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender.

If you’d like the syrup to be thicker, remove sweet potatoes with a slotted spoon and boil syrup for a few minutes to thicken, then return sweet potatoes to pan.

If using brown sugar, taste syrup and add remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar, if you’d like it sweeter.

Heat until blended into syrup. Add butter, if desired, and stir until melted. Add a pinch of salt, if desired. Serve hot.

Story Continues →