Sissy William's recipe for Sweet Potato aux Peeps sparked the idea for both this recipe and its French title* (food sounds so much better in French).
I love the caramel-like sweetness baking releases in sweet potatoes, so to play that up, I added good amounts of brown sugar (3/4 cup) and butter (6 Tbsp.) to the mashed sweet potatoes. I'm also in love with the warmth, complexity, and aroma spices bring to recipes and since cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves complement sweet potatoes so well, I threw them in, too. The result is heady; I know something is good if I have to tear myself away from licking the bowl. (Which is not to say I didn't lick the bowl; I just stopped myself from burying my face in it.)
As for the peeps, the oven changes their consistency; like roasting a marshmallow over a campfire, the dry heat toasts the outside and liquefies the inside. On my plate, I didn't like eating the toasted peeps straight up but I loved mixing them in with the sweet potatoes -- the peeps fluff up the potatoes while adding a hint of sweetness.
These are good; so good. Make them very, very soon.
Patate Douce Casserole Avec Peeps
8 medium sweet potatoes
6 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
Peeps (about 20)
Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Wash the outside of the sweet potatoes and pierce all over with a fork. Place on a lined (foil or parchment) baking sheet and bake for 1-1/2 to 2 hours until soft and the potatoes' natural sugars bubble out of the fork-made holes. Allow potatoes to cool to room temperature (or pop them in the fridge and deal with them when you are ready).
Preheat the oven to 400-degrees. Scoop out the sweet potatoes' flesh into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until desired consistency is reached (I like mine relatively smooth but dotted with sweet potato bits). Add melted butter, brown sugar, spices and salt; mix until well combined. Scoop mixture into a 9-inch pie plate and bake 30 to 40 minutes or until the center is hot. Arrange peeps around edge and bake 5 more minutes.
*As I don't know how to speak French, if the title for this recipe is completely nonsensical, please suggest a correction.