1. Preheat oven to 300°.
2. Place the pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake about 10 minutes or until pecans are fragrant and begin to darken. Remove from oven, and set aside.
3. In a small saucepan, combine maple syrup, orange zest, cinnamon stick, and ground cloves. Bring to a gentle simmer. Remove from heat, and let stand about 5 minutes.
4. Gently scoop out insides of the baked sweet potatoes, and place in a heatproof bowl. Using a potato masher or large fork, mash until there are no lumps left. Heat in microwave on HIGH for 3 minutes.
5. Remove the cinnamon stick from the warmed syrup, and discard. Pour the syrup over the mashed sweet potatoes, and top with the toasted pecans. Serve immediately.
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