2 cinnamon sticks, broken
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup pecan halves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 (15 oz.) cans candied yams or sweet potatoes in syrup, drained
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup creme fraiche
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon maple extract or vanilla extract
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Grind the cinnamon sticks to a fine powder in a coffee grinder; set aside. Cook sugar and 3 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium high heat 3 minutes or until melted and golden. Add pecans, and cook 2 minutes until pecans are toasted and glazed, stirring frequently. Stir in cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Spread pecans on wax paper, and set aside to cool.
Combine sweet potatoes, 1/4 cup butter, ginger, 1 teaspoon salt, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Beat at low speed with a hand mixer 1 minute; beat at high speed 2 minutes. Gently fold creme fraiche, maple syrup, extract, and balsamic vinegar into sweet potatoes. Transfer to a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Simmer, covered, 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spoon potatoes into a serving dish, and sprinkle with glazed pecans. 8 - 10 servings.