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Praline Sweet Potato Bread

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Quick breads that incorporate ingredients like sweet potato and pumpkin are one of the ultimate fall comforts for me.  This recipe comes from my friend Marina, and like her other recipes, does not disappoint.  The texture is lovely, much lighter than what I usually make, and I love the hint of rum.  Without the topping, this bread is fantastic.  With it, it is perfection.

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PRALINE SWEET POTATO BREAD
Adapted from Marina C.

4 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. allspice
½  tsp. cloves
¼ tsp. ginger
1 lb. cooked & peeled sweet potatoes (I used canned & drained them, then weighed)
4 eggs
1 c. vegetable oil
¼ c rum + enough cold water to equal 2/3 cup total liquid*
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
2 cups light brown sugar
1 c. chopped pecans

*The original recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon rum extract and 2/3 cups cold water, should you wish to use that instead.  The measurement of rum that I used gives just a hint of rum flavor and a wonderful smell.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9” loaf pans with shortening, then dust with granulated sugar (pour some in and move the pan around until it coats the bottom and all sides).  Set aside.
Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt & spices in a large bowl. Set aside.

Beat the sweat potatoes in a medium bowl until creamy.  Beat in eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Add the oil, rum mixture & sugars and beat until well combined.  Pour into the dry mixture and mix well. Stir in pecans.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pans. Bake one hour at 350 degrees. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes. Pour praline topping over loaves. Cool completely and wrap in plastic wrap.

Praline Topping
2 tbsp. dark brown sugar
2 tbsp. dark corn syrup
1 tbsp. sweet butter
¼ tsp. vanilla
1/3 c. chopped pecans

Combine sugar, corn syrup, butter, and vanilla in medium saucepan. Cook and stir on medium heat until butter is melted and mixture is blended. Add chopped pecans and pour over loaves. (I doubled the topping ingredients.)

*To make 3 (5”) loaves, bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
*To make a bundt loaf, I recommend greasing and flouring the pan instead of using sugar (like I did) b/c it doesn’t make a very pretty top for presentation.  Fill the pan ¾ full of batter & bake for 1 hour, 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  You will have extra batter & can use it to make mini loaves (bake 30 minutes), one small loaf (as above) or muffins (haven’t tried this but I’d start checking after 15 minutes for doneness).
*Loaves may be frozen.

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