Thanksgiving just wouldn't be complete without a sweet potato dish! Below are three separate ways to turn a classic sweet potato dish into something even better! 

1. Mary Randolph's Sweet Potato Pie:
For the Cream Cheese Crust:
1 cup +2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
ice water as needed

For the Sweet Potato Filling:
1/4 cup butter, unsalted, softened
1 cup sugar
2 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
3 eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup brandy [I use E&J XO Extra Smooth Brandy]
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest 
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 unbaked (9-inch) pastry shell

To Prepare the Cream Cheese Pastry:
1. Sift flour and salt together in a medium bowl and set aside.
2. Beat the cream cheese and butter together with a stand mixer or a hand mixer until completely incorporated and creamy (3-5 minutes).
3. Reduce the speed of the mixer and add in the flour. Mix until the dough comes together. If the dough is not cohesive and will not stay in a ball, sprinkle ice water a teaspoon at a time over the dough and mix with a fork until it comes together in a ball.
4. Flatten into a circle, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until hard, at least 4 hours. Overnight refrigeration is recommended.
5. Roll out your pastry to 1/8th inch thick and line a pie dish, trim the edges, roll them under and crimp decoratively. Cover loosely and place in the refrigerator until ready to fill.

To Prepare the Filling:
1. Preheat oven to 400°
2. Place brandy in a small pan and heat until warm. Do not boil. Keep warm.
3. Cream butter in a mixing bowl with a hand mixer: gradually add sugar, beating well after each addition. Add potatoes; beat on medium speed until well blended.
4. Add eggs, one at a time; beating after each addition.
5. Add the brandy, lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla and nutmeg to the sweet potato mixture; stir until well blended.
6. Pour mixture into pastry shell.
7. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes. Lower the temperature to 350° and continue baking until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 more minutes.

2. Sweet Potato Casserole
4 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes 
1 cup sugar 
1/4 cup milk 
1/2 cup butter, softened 
2 large eggs 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1 1/4 cups cornflakes cereal, crushed
1/4 cup chopped pecans 
1 tablespoon brown sugar 
1 tablespoon butter, melted 
1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows 

1. Preheat oven at 400°. Bake sweet potatoes for about 1 hour or until tender. Let cool to touch;
2. Mash sweet potatoes.
3. Beat mashed sweet potatoes, sugar, milk, softened butter, eggs and vanilla extract until smooth. This can be done with an electric mixer or by hand. 
4. Spoon potato mixture into a greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish.
5. Combine cornflakes cereal, chopped pecans, brown sugar and melted butter into a small bowl and mix easily. Sprinkle diagonally over casserole in rows 2 inches apart.
6. Bake casserole at 350° for 30 minutes. Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes. 
7. Sprinkle alternate rows with marshmallows; bake 10 additional minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

3. Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Cinnamon Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting:

3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup canned sweet potato puree
1 large egg
3/4 cup buttermilk
4 tablespoons softened cream cheese
4 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
3 to 4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
2. In a large bowl add the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, sugar, sweet potato, egg, and buttermilk. 
3. Mix for about 15 to 30 seconds with a large spoon until well combined. 
4. Fill prepared muffin cups 3/4 full with batter.
5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until cooked through. Let cool completely.
6. To prepare frosting, place butter and cream cheese into a mixing bowl, beating until creamy and smooth. Slowly add powdered sugar until you get the consistency you desire. Stir in cinnamon then frost over cupcakes. 
Makes 12 cupcakes

What's your favorite Thanksgiving recipes? Tell us in the comments!

Make sure to check back next Wednesday for more Thanksgiving inspired recipes! 

Posted by: Julie Thomas, Visit Baton Rouge

Julie is the new Communication Intern for Visit Baton Rouge. Before relocating to Baton Rouge, Julie lived in Haughton, Louisiana and attended Louisiana State University in Shreveport where she graduated in May 2014 with a degree in public relations. She now attends LSU as a graduate student at the Manship School of Mass Communications. She loves reading, watching Law and Order, playing with her dog, traveling and exploring the amazing city of Baton Rouge. You can follow her on Instagram or on her personal blog.