For the jalapeño molasses:
1⁄4 cup brandy
1 cup dark molasses
1⁄4 cup water
For the sweet potato fritters:
2 large sweet potatoes
1 large egg
1 3⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
3⁄4 cup chopped pecans
1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 qt. peanut oil, for frying
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
1. Prepare jalapeño molasses: Over medium heat, add brandy to a small saucepan; cook about 2 minutes or until alcohol evaporates.
2. Stir in molasses and water and bring to a simmer. Halve the jalapeño lengthwise and add to the mixture.
3. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Strain sauce through a strainer and cool to room temperature.
4. Meanwhile, make the sweet potato fritters: Bake sweet potatoes in a 350ºF oven until tender throughout (about 1 hour). Peel and mash thoroughly.
5. In a large bowl, blend well 2 cups mashed sweet potato, egg, flour, pecans, sugar and cinnamon, until a thick mixture forms. Scoop out a heaping tablespoon and, using another tablespoon, form into neat ovals; set aside.
6. Heat peanut oil to 350ºF. Drop fritters into hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Drain in a bowl lined with paper towels; dust with confectioners’ sugar while hot.