Please do not judge a book by its cover.
Sometimes the strangest and weirdest looking food tastes the best.
These lumpy, bumpy, crusty potato sticks may not win any beauty pageants, but they are the best potatoes I have ever eaten.
I don’t really love potatoes, but I loved these.
These crazy looking potato sticks, which look like they came from the depths of the ocean and belong in a Jacques Cousteau book, don’t actually taste like potatoes.
They taste like french toast sticks that weren’t actually made with any toast.
Haven’t you heard? French toast that’s orange and bumpy is the best kind.
Confused yet? Okay, good.
Start with a dry rub of graham cracker crumbs, corn starch, cinnamon and sugar, and beat an egg.
Slice the potato into sticks.
Batter and bread the sticks, and place them on the lined baking sheet.
It’s okay if you have excess mixture at the bottom of your baking sheet. The excess crumbs and egg run-off turns into the sweetest tasting “bread crust” on the “French Toast” sticks.
And those blobs of graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon, and sugar?
They bake up into an almost streusel-like topping for the
potato sticks French Toast sticks.
I’ve heard of self-glazing cakes before and I’d call these little spuds self-glazing or self-streuseling.
You could finish them off with a sprinkling of powdered sugar or serve them with warm maple syrup, but I don’t think they need anything more.
That’s a bold statement coming from me because I love a vat of syrup for two bites of pancakes. I keep waitresses at pancake houses busy, asking for extra syrup x3.
Brown sugar and graham cracker crumbs can do no wrong.
These sticks were sweet and wonderful both from the dry-rub-turned-streusel-coating and because sweet potatoes are already sweet, which is how I prefer anything, including potatoes.
Please trust me that despite these sticks looking like they hailed from another planet, they were ridiculously good.
Soft and tender like French toast.
If you are looking for crispy ‘n crunchy potato sticks, these are not that. Try these potatoes instead.
If potatoes can masquerade as French Toast, or as dessert, this is how to pull it off.
Sweet Potato Graham Cracker “French Toast” Sticks (with Gluten-Free and Vegan suggestions)
1 large sweet potato or yam
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375F and prepare a baking sheet with a Silpat liner, foil, parchment paper (lining your sheet will save you immense headache in the cleanup process). Peel the sweet potato, rinse it with water, and slice it into sticks about 1 centimeter wide (the length does not matter as much as the width). In a large bowl, beat an egg with a fork and place the sweet potato sticks into the egg mixture and toss. In another large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and stir to create the dry rub. Grab a handful of egg-coated sweet potatoes and toss them in the dry mixture, then place them on the prepared pan. Repeat with all remaining potatoes. If you have extra egg mixture or extra dry rub, you can sprinkle that over the top of the sweet potatoes on the baking sheet before baking them. I used up all the coating mixture in the photos shown, but if you do not want your sticks as breaded, don’t dredge them as fully with dry rub. Bake potatoes for 30 minutes, then flip them. The will likely have become stuck to the pan so use a spatula and flip the entire thing over. Bake for another 10 to 20 minutes, and use your judgment based on browning levels, thickness your coating mixture was applied, the size of your potato sticks, and personal taste preferences. Remove from the oven and if the potatoes are stuck together, either tear them apart with your hands after they’ve cooled a bit or place them on a cutting board and slice with a knife as needed. Serve immediately, with or without a dusting of powdered sugar over the top or maple syrup for dipping. Store extras in an airtight container for up to 2 days on the countertop, using common sense. They won’t stay crispy and will become almost donut-like and spongecake-like the longer they are stored.
To keep gluten-free, use gluten-free graham crackers. To keep vegan, replace the egg with a chia or flax egg or other liquid egg replacer.
These potatoes made a potato lover out of me. I made this recipe with sweet potatoes, not yams, but as discussed last week, Americans tend to use the names interchangeably and sometimes incorrectly.
And I’ve nearly confused myself when it comes to tubers.
There are so many varieties of sweet potatoes, and yams, which adds to the name-game confusion.
All I know if if I can make plain ole orange-colored potatoes taste like rich, sweet, decadent baked french toast, I’m not going to get hung up on nomenclature.
I’ve got sweet crust bites to nibble on.
If you’d like to try something a little less sweet and decadent, while still using sweet potatoes, try Roasted Sweet Potato Fries
I also made Cinnamon Sugar & Ginger Roasted Potato Sticks from regular Russet baking potatoes when I was trying to butter Scott up awhile back.
Last week I made Caribbean Citrus Roasted Sweet Potatoes. Crunchy on the outside, soft ‘ n tender on the inside.
It’s been very tuberous here lately.
Are you a potato fan or a sweet potato fan? Do you label yams and sweet potatoes interchangeably? Do you know how to tell the difference?
As I’ve mentioned, potatoes in general aren’t my biggest love. They’re fine, but they’re not something I go out of my way for because I’d rather allot my mindless carb-eating to something more useful. Like a donut.
But I will say that if all potatoes taste like French toast, potatoes may be replacing donuts.
I thought I finally had it figured out but realized that true yams are rare in the U.S. and that most of us are probably eating sweet potatoes, rather than yams, in one of their many different varieties, shapes, and colors.
Are you a French toast fan?
I love French toast but it’s been ages since I’ve made it. Must work on that.
I prefer French toast to pancakes and I’d say that it ties with waffles. I don’t have a waffle iron though. Must work on that, too.
What was the last “ulgy” food you ate that tasted great?
I don’t think most traditional “comfort food” is all that pretty. Foods like soup, chili, mac ‘n cheese, beans, casseroles, dips and anything that’s warm, mushy, soft, or brown is notoriously hard to photograph but it sure can taste great. Don’t judge a book by the cover, I say.
As photography went, I had a ball photographing these spuds. I thought they were going to be my nemesis but it turns out I had lots of fun with my extra-terrestrial taters and the light was hitting them so perfectly.
Have a great week!