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Sugary Sam Bars

by on February 6, 2009 · 21 comments

I drove across town to get my knives sharpened this morning and didn’t have a lot of time to bake, but I needed to use up half a can of sweet potatoes so I did anyway. These excellent bar cookies came together in a matter of minutes; and this is coming from someone who doesn’t care much for sweet potatoes or cake-type bars.

I intentionally left off icing. As much as I love it, I think any sort of frosting would be overkill because these are very moist and packed with chocolate and nuts. They’re a cakey bar, but they’re not fall-apart cakey and they’re dense enough to wrap individually and pack in a lunch box (which is another reason I left off the icing).

For the sweet potatoes, I used Sugary Sam’s Golden Mashed Sweet Potatoes. You might get a less sweet bar if you use a different type of sweet potato, but I’m sure they’d still be good.

Sugary Sam Bars

Sugary Sam Bars

1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 of a 15.5 oz can (about a cup) of Sugar Sam’s Mashed Sweet Potatoes
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon grated orange peel (optional)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour (4.5 oz)
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate mini morsels
1/3 cup toasted chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and spray a 9 inch metal pan with cooking spray. If you want, you may line it with foil before spraying.

Whisk (or stir) oil, sugar and egg together in a medium bowl. Add sweet potatoes, vanilla and orange peel and whisk until thoroughly mixed. Stir in baking, salt and cinnamon, then when thoroughly mixed, add flour, chocolate chips and nuts. Stir just until flour is mixed in. t. Pour into pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.

.Makes one 9 inch pan. 16 small squares or 9 or 12 bars

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Published on February 6, 2009

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Louise February 6, 2009 at 2:12 pm

These look really good. With sweet taters, pecans, and chocolate chips. I can picture a little cream cheese frosting, but that would make them a mess to pack. Yum!!!

Kathy February 6, 2009 at 2:28 pm

I wonder if these would work with canned pumpkin?

Sam February 6, 2009 at 2:34 pm

Anything called a Sam bar I have got to try out!! ;-)

Carol A, February 6, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Yum, these sound good. I never buy canned sweet potatoes, I wonder if baked fresh sweet potatoes would work? Or Kathy’s idea about pumpkin, I do always have that on hand for muffins. Course then they’d be pumpkin bars :-) which still sounds good to me!

Jennifer February 6, 2009 at 3:12 pm

Fabulous!!! Reminds me of bars my grandmother used to make :)

lisa (dandysugar) February 6, 2009 at 3:19 pm

WOw, these sounds really delicious. I think pumpkin would be great in this recipe too!

VeggieGirl February 6, 2009 at 3:22 pm


Katrina February 6, 2009 at 3:49 pm

Ooh, I know, make them using xylitol! That sounds good! ;)
Really, the bars look great. And you know I WOULD do healthier alternatives, wheat flour, maybe agave….they do look like no icing is necessary and/or that they would be great WITH an icing.

snooky doodle February 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm

this looks delicious ! Pity I don’t find sweet potatoes here :(

dawn February 6, 2009 at 4:49 pm

I can believe these tasted so good. Did you have a look at what I did with sweet potatoes and cheese? Come look, I think you’ll dig it.

Robin February 6, 2009 at 6:20 pm

Can you please tell me where to go to get knives sharpened? I have no idea where to even start looking.

Anna February 6, 2009 at 8:01 pm

Hi Robin,

I’m not sure where you live, but in Austin there’s a place on Burnet Road called Knife Sharpest. They specialize in knives. If you don’t live in Austin, you should do a search on Google and see what you can come up with.

Sugar Duchess February 6, 2009 at 10:48 pm

Oh my, these look delicious! And the sweet potatoes make them totally healthy, right? :) I’ll have to try these out.

bakingblonde February 7, 2009 at 8:25 am

This is a very interesting bar recipe, it looks so moist and delicious. I bet the pecans and sweet potatoes make a winning flavor combo!

Sara February 7, 2009 at 5:18 pm

I made these today with canned pumpkin – my husband liked them a lot but I thought they were OK/a little bland – probably because I healthified them with applesauce for oil sub, white wheat flour, used half splenda/half dark brown sugar, and 1/4 cup each mini choc chips and walnuts :)

Anna February 7, 2009 at 5:30 pm

Pumpkin is probably milder and applesauce doesn’t carry flavor like actual fat. Mine were moist and very flavorful. If you get a chance and have the ingredients, I would love to hear what you think of the recipe as written. At least we know your husband will eat them. Lol. Seriously, I wish you’d try again because they are really good when made as written above. Let me know if you do!

Katrina February 7, 2009 at 8:37 pm

These look great to me and I really want to try them. Have never heard of Sugar Sam’s sweet potatoes. Any brand would probably do?? Or is there something “special” about Sam’s?

giz February 7, 2009 at 10:47 pm

Such great flavour packed in there – Ina move over, there’s a new girl in town!!!

Stephanie February 7, 2009 at 11:07 pm

I’m not too big on sweet potatoes, but these look great!!!!

PS: I’ve added you to my blogroll <3

Sara February 8, 2009 at 8:39 am

I’m sure it was my changes that made them a little bland (still very moist though) – I like to make one or two richer, dessert-y type items to have for the week (like your giant choc chip cookies), but also a healthier bar to have as afternoon snacks. These I made for the healthy snack, hence as the substitutions. I generally wouldn’t make a cakey bar for a dessert because I’d rather have a cookie or fudgy brownie – or the samoa bars from Baking bites, have you tried those? Amazing.

For the healthy snack though, the healthy version of these bars is very good, plus lower calorie with some protein and fiber! I think the pumpkin version would benefit from some pumpkin pie spices in addition to the cinnamon – ginger, nutmeg, etc. Thanks for the recipe!

Anna February 8, 2009 at 8:43 am

Sara, I’m glad yours were moist. I wonder if ramping up the cinnamon & nutmeg would have helped? Also, I totally get what you mean about preferring a rich dessert over a semi-healthy one and trying to keep snacks healthy. What surprised me was I found the original (higher oil version) satisfying enough for a dessert. I wasn’t expecting that, but it was really good. I’ll have to try the Samoa Bars when Girl Scout cookie season ends.

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