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Hasselback Sweet Potatoes

January 25, 2016

Hasselback Sweet Potatoes
Paula Nemzek for KCTS 9 Cooks

These decadent sweet potatoes make a show-stopping side for a special dinner. The sauce is both sinful and heavenly!

serves 6

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, with skin on, scrubbed and ends trimmed
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped (See Tip.)
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) Frangelico liqueur
  • 3 fresh rosemary sprigs (optional)


Frangelico Mascarpone Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) Frangelico liqueur
  • 1/2 8-ounce container mascarpone cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, or to taste


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut vertical slices in sweet potatoes about three-quarters of the way through and 1/4- to 1/2-inch apart. When cutting potatoes, we line up wooden chopsticks on both sides of the base of each potato to stop the knife from going all the way through. The bottom should still be intact. Place potatoes into an 8-inch square baking pan and set aside. (Pan should be just large enough that potatoes aren’t crowded, but won’t shift during baking.)

In a sauté pan, heat 5 tablespoons butter and add shallots. Season to taste with salt and pepper and sauté until shallots are translucent. Add 4 tablespoons Frangelico and sauté for about 2 minutes, stirring to blend.

Remove pan sauce from heat and pour over potatoes in the baking pan. Add a sprig of fresh rosemary over the top of each potato. Cover baking pan tightly with foil and bake 60 to 75 minutes, or until potatoes are done and a fork is inserted easily. The bigger the potatoes, the longer the baking time. Remove potatoes from oven and set aside. Remove rosemary sprigs and top the potatoes with the toasted hazelnuts.

Using the same sauté pan, prepare the sauce. Melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add 1 ounce Frangelico, and stir to blend. Gently stir in mascarpone cheese. Add nutmeg to taste and cook for about 1 minute longer. Remove from heat and pour mixture evenly over each potato, aiming between the slices for maximum flavor. Serve immediately, dividing each potato in half and spooning any extra sauce over the potatoes.

Tip: You may keep the skins on the hazelnuts; the sweetness of the potatoes and cream will be a nice counterpart to the bitter skin. If you wish to remove the skins, try this method: Boil 11/2 cups of water in a saucepan. Add nuts and 2 tablespoons baking soda. The soda will fizz up and start to remove the skins. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour hazelnuts into a colander and shake to remove the skins, wiping any skin that sticks off with a paper towel. During this process, heat oven to 375 degrees. Immediately put skinned buts on a baking sheet and toast for 7 to 10 minutes, until nuts start to brown, become fragrant and regain their crunch.