From Chef Patrick Evans-Hylton’s cookbook, Dishing Up Virginia

Yields 6 Servings


  • 6 sweet potatoes

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1⁄3 cup light brown sugar
  • 3⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1⁄3 cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted
  • 1⁄3 cup dried cherries
  • 5–6 ounces Gruyére cheese, shredded (about 11⁄2 cups)



1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil and set aside.

2. Rub the outside of the potatoes with the vegetable oil and place on the baking sheet. Bake until the potatoes are soft, about 1 hour. Remove the potatoes from the oven and set aside.

3. Stir the cream cheese, butter, brown sugar, salt, black pepper, and cayenne together in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Fold in the hazelnuts and cherries.

4. Slice the cooked potatoes open horizontally along the top and carefully scoop out the flesh, reserving the skins. Add the flesh to the cream cheese mixture and stir to incorporate.

5. Evenly spoon the cream cheese–potato mixture back into the reserved potato skins, mounding it slightly. Sprinkle the cheese over the tops of the potatoes, return to the oven, and bake until the cheese is melted and the cream cheese–potato mixture is heated through, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately; they don’t hold well.

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