Place sweet potatoes in 350°F oven and roast until tender, approximately 50 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
Add heavy cream to medium saucepan and reduce by half. Color should be a light golden brown. Reserve.
Peel sweet potatoes and place into a food processor. Add cream, butter, and brown sugar. Remove from food processor and place into a serving dish.
Heat brown sugar with 3 tablespoons of the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook until mixture has a sauce-like consistency.
Whisk in remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and salt.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the confectioners sugar, salt, cayenne pepper, and water.
Add the pecans to the sugar mixture and stir until nuts are evenly coated.
Transfer the pecans to the parchment-covered baking sheet and arrange in an even layer.
Bake for 10-12 minutes until the pecans are crusty on top and caramelized and golden on the bottom.
Cool then remove pecans from the parchment, breaking apart any clumps. If the nuts are sticky after cooling, that means they are a bit undercooked. Place them back in the oven for a few minutes and let cool again.
Drizzle some of the brown sugar glaze over and around the sweet potato puree. Garnish with spicy candied pecans. Serve with additional glaze on the side.
Mychael Bonner is the Executive Chef for Chicago-area restaurants Petterino's, Di Pescara and Saranello's. He was rated a Best Chef in America by his peers.