Killer Candied Sweet Potatoes Recipe

Saturday, November 19, 2011


One of the more annoying things about living with a food blogger is that they rarely make the same recipe twice.  This is especially irksome when a dish is particularly fabulous, because the blogger’s poor family knows that the chances of enjoying it again are virtually nil.   But hey,  I’m not heartless.   I realize that there are certain dishes that are favorites and beg to be made again – like these killer candied sweet potatoes.  They are absolutely to die for!  That’s why I always include them on my Thanksgiving menu –  and you should too. 


The original recipe for this dish was given to me by my mother.  It was one of her Thanksgiving specialties when I was growing up.   She only made them once a year, and believe me, they were worth the wait!  Earthy sweet potatoes are bathed in a pool of rich, gooey brown sugar syrup and baked until meltingly soft and caramelized.   Then, they’re topped with marshmallows and popped back in the oven just long enough for the marshmallows to puff up like crazy and get all browned and toasty.   It’s like eating candy for dinner.  Oooooh!   I get verklempt just thinking about it!


I’ve tried making this dish a couple of different ways, and I’ve found that it is best to partially cook the sweet potatoes before adding the syrup.  You can either boil, steam or bake them for about fifteen minutes or so.  I prefer baking the potatoes first because that leaves one less pot for me to wash, and I’m all about efficiency.   Also,  there’s less risk of the potatoes falling apart that way.   It doesn’t matter which way you choose.  You really just want to reduce the “candying” time so that the syrup doesn’t burn.


While I almost always use both light and dark corn syrup to make this dish, I have tried it with maple syrup instead of the dark corn syrup. It is really delicious that way too. In my experience, the syrup doesn’t get quite as thick, but the maple flavor is really wonderful.   One year, I also added some chopped pecans to the syrup, for a little crunch.   I liked it and would definitely do it again.

Woo Hoo!  Look at those marshmallows puff!   My salivary glands are in overdrive right now just looking at them!


I have to tell you that while I love sweet potatoes in any way, shape or form, these are something special.  Maybe it’s because they conjure up lots of sweet memories of Thanksgivings past for me.   Or maybe, it’s from the anticipation of waiting a whole year to eat them.  Whatever the reason, Thanksgiving at my house just wouldn’t be the same without my mom’s  candied sweet potatoes.


14 responses to Killer Candied Sweet Potatoes Recipe

  1. On November 19, 2011 at 11:56am, Jenni (Traveler for Good) said...

    I can see why you (and your family) would want that recipe again and again. Looks fantastic!

  2. On November 19, 2011 at 12:07pm, Blog is the New Black said...

    Oh wowww… these look amazing!

  3. On November 19, 2011 at 12:48pm, Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

    Killer indeed! I’m definitely making these, thanks for sharing!

  4. On November 19, 2011 at 4:53pm, Katrina said...

    These seem super weird to me, but I’m totally willing to try. Mostly because like you, I rarely make something twice so I know the recipes that get remade MUST be awesome. I’ll let you know how this goes :)

  5. On November 19, 2011 at 8:13pm, Phyllis Kirigin said...

    I could well have written those opening few sentences myself. When I ask my husband how he likes a great dish I just made, he says, “What does it matter? You’ll never make it again.” Pretty close the to truth. But like you, I take pride in not being a “spaghetti every Monday” kind of cook.

  6. On November 20, 2011 at 9:28am, bellini said...

    It’s good to keep those holiday traditions alive!!!

  7. On November 20, 2011 at 1:16pm, Bren said...

    I make something very similar every year per my mom’s request. i love how it’s the one dish that slowly diminishes… nibbles here and there and then finally, it’s gone. Love your julienne cuts… i do big cubes…

  8. On November 20, 2011 at 3:10pm, LizAnderson said...

    Let’s just suppose I have first hand knowledge that those marshmallows can be trouble. There’s the burning. And the nearly catching the cabinet my stand alone oven is fixed in. All potential for a call to the Insurance Agent on a holiday.

    Just watch out for those ‘mellows. They can be onery if not carefully watched.

  9. On November 20, 2011 at 5:32pm, Becky said...

    These are so nostalgic. They look much like the ones my mom makes. Thanks for sharing and reminding me of my childhood!

  10. On November 21, 2011 at 5:28am, My Italian Smörgåsbord said...

    what an original recipe! I would never ever thought about something like that but I am definitely willing to try. what do you think this would go with?

  11. On November 21, 2011 at 3:35pm, The Food Hunter said...


  12. On November 22, 2011 at 11:35am, Caren with a "C" said...

    I love candied yams! Happy Thanksgiving!

  13. On November 22, 2011 at 1:41pm, Jennifer @ Loving Bytes said...

    Yum! You cooked it so perfectly. I cannot imagine getting the marshmallows to look that good. Reminds me of trying to get the campfire marshmallow toasted just right! And I agree, once a year, adding a boatload of sugar to a side dish is just fine. Hey, it’s still a vegetable!

  14. On November 22, 2011 at 3:49pm, Karen@Mignardise said...

    You’re right – Thanksgiving is really the only time I repeat a recipe!
    Looks like you’ll have a delicious Turkey day. Enjoy!

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Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

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