These little sweet potato maple bacon fritters are my happiest culinary mistake ever. I originally had intended to bread them and fry them as bigger croquettes but when I tried to bread the first one it just fell apart. It was time to regroup and rethink what I wanted to do with all of the croquette filling I had made. I worked so hard to make it and there was no way I was wasting it! To prepare the mixture I boiled a whole lot of sweet potatoes that I peeled and cut into chunks until they were completely tender.
While the sweet potatoes boiled, I cooked 4 strips of bacon until they were crisp and then crumbled them up. I got them into a big mixing bowl along with 4 eggs, a minced shallot, maple syrup, brown sugar, cream cheese, cinnamon, nutmeg, smoked paprika, and hickory smoked sea salt. The sweet potatoes took about 20 minutes to get tender, then I drained them and let them cool. If I hadn’t they would have scrambled the eggs! Once they were cool enough to handle, I put all of them through my potato ricer into the bowl with the other ingredients. If you have a food mill instead of a ricer that would work great too! I gave everything a big mix until it was uniform and smooth.
My problem was that there was a little too much liquid, so the croquette idea was out. Then, inspiration hit. I decided to just fry little scoops of the mixture I had made! I heated up about 4 inches of vegetable oil over medium high heat. On the few occasions that I do deep fry something, a deep fry thermometer is really essential. I like to keep tabs on my oil temperature so I just keep one in the oil the entire time. I wanted to gently fry these sweet potato maple bacon fritters so I got my oil to 320 degrees and did a tester fritter with just a tiny bit of batter. Oh my goodness it was perfection! I used a tablespoon to make heaping scoops and dropped them in the oil to fry the sweet potato maple bacon fritters in batches of 6. They took about 3-4 minutes to get golden and crispy on the outside, then I removed them with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towel to drain them. I kept going until the batter was gone, it made 30 little fritters!
Once they had drained and cooled just a bit, I served them immediately. Anything that is deep fried is best right out of the fryer, but if you were making these for guests you could transfer them to a sheet tray lined with parchment paper. Get them into a 300 degree oven to keep them hot and as crispy as possible until you are ready to serve them. These sweet potato maple bacon fritters just had such incredible flavor. There was the sweetness of the maple syrup and brown sugar, then the savory bacon and smokey paprika. They will wow anyone you serve them to. Hubby went absolutely bonkers for them! My culinary disaster turned into treasure and I was so excited about them. The full recipe is just below.