Chai-Spiced Baked Sweet Potatoes
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Most of us are probably now familiar with masala chai, the Indian tea flavored with spices such as ginger, cardamom, peppercorns, and cinnamon. It tastes like warmth itself, and it goes so well with traditional Thanksgiving ingredients like squash, pumpkin, and even cranberries. Here, we use it to put a new spin on classic glazed sweet potatoes.
3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-1/2-inch chunks
4 tablespoons salted butter, plus extra for dish
1/3 cup brewed strong black chai tea
1/2 cup firmly packed light-brown sugar
1 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and kosher or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup toasted pecan halves
Preheat oven to 375°. Butter a 9x13-inch baking dish and arrange sweet potatoes in an even layer. Set aside.
In a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat, melt butter with tea, brown sugar, spices, and salt. Bring to a simmer, whisking often, and cook until mixture begins to foam. Pour syrup evenly over potatoes and cover pan with foil. Bake 35 minutes; then remove foil, stir gently, and cook until potatoes are tender and glaze is very thick, another 8 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with toasted pecans and serve.
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