These sweet sweet potatoes are an easy and pretty side dish and a great vegetarian play on the famous “salami hasselback.”
Starting with one potato at a time, shave off the bottom of your potato, so it sits stably to work with, as well as serve. Continuously slice straight down into the potato, stopping short of half an inch to the bottom, to create a Hasselback cut. Holding the potato down with one hand, make nice, even, consecutive cuts between an eighth of an inch and a fourth of an inch measure of thickness. As it bakes, the slices will fan out and resemble an accordion.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and place the rack on the lower middle position.
In a small sauce pot, melt margarine, brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon to create a small sweet syrup for basting.
Brush the outside of each potato with syrup using a pastry brush.
Place in the oven uncovered for 15 minutes. By now, the potato should start to fan out.
Brush the potato once again, this time reaching between the cracks to make sure you got your potato covered.
Bake for an additional 30 minutes, and pull out every 10 minutes to re-brush each potato with the sauce to prevent them from drying out.
When the potatoes are looking nice and crispy, remove from the oven and pour remaining sauce over them. Be sure to get between the cracks.
Sprinkle the chopped pecans on top of each potato and return to the oven for 10 more minutes to allow the sugar to caramelize and set.
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