Sweet Potato Casserole with Apple Cinnamon Topping

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I was never a huge fan of sweet potato casseroles.  The marshmallows always tasted funny to me and the pecans seemed to sit heavily with a vegetable puree.  Though there was one pecan topping one I did like, this new apple cinnamon topped casserole is my absolute favorite and it has healthier ingredients that of course you can substitute for the real thing.  For example, real sugar for the Splenda.  But in large casseroles like this, it is difficult to tell the difference.

Here is my favorite Thanksgiving side dish.  As proof, I’ve eaten half of the 9×13 pan already and it is day 2 or 3 after I made it.  The kids love this, too.  My friend Lindsay took the recipe from here and it is a hit with her kids as well.

Sweet Potato Casserole with Apple Cinnamon Topping
yield 13×9 – so 20 small servings, or 12 larger servings

6 medium sweet potatoes
3 eggs
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, room temp.
3/4 cup Splenda
1 Tbs. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 Tbs. milk
1/4 cup whole grain flour

Topping:
4 packages of instant apple cinnamon oatmeal
2 Tbs. flour
2 Tbs. brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, room temp. and cut into chunks

1.  Prepare Potatoes:  using a vegetable peeler, peel the skins.  I always rinse the potato anyway too.  Slice peeled potatoes down the middle, then in 1/2″ slices.  Place in large pot.  (If you don’t have a pot that will hold them all, you can divide between two pots).  Cover with water to the top of the potatoes.  Bring to a boil on high.  Kick the heat down to medium-high and continue to boil until the potatoes are fork tender.
2.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Drain potatoes.  To avoid sweet potato explosions in my mixer, I put half of the potatoes in the mixer and beat until broken up.  Add rest of potatoes and beat on medium-low for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.  It depends on how chunky or creamy you like them.  I like them creamy.
3.  Once beaten, add the remaining ingredients.  The heat of the potatoes will melt the butter.  Beat for another minute.
4.  Place into a 13×9 pan and bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
5.  In a small bowl, combine oatmeal, flour and brown sugar.  Add butter and mix until it looks like coarse crumbs.  Put on top of the casserole and bake another 10 minutes.

**You can make this ahead of time using steps 1-3 and then put it in the fridge to bake the next morning.**
I haven’t tried this one, but I have frozen mashed potatoes in the past and it does work.  I would mix the topping in a separate bag to freeze separately and then both can thaw together.  Bake like normal after thawed.

You can make this using 7 medium sweet potatoes as well.  I scaled it down to 6 of them because 7 tends to make my kitchenaid mixer explode a little.