Candied Sweet Potatoes
(American sugar-baked sweet potatoes)
Also called sweet potato casserole, candied sweet potatoes are a favorite dish in many American households at Thanksgiving and Easter, especially children. They are an extra treat when a layer of marshmallows is baked and browned on top. At Easter, chick- or rabbit-shaped marshmallows called "Peeps" are sometimes used.
4 to 6 servings
- Sweet potatoes, large -- 4 or 5
- Brown sugar -- 3/4 cup
- Butter -- 3/4 cup, or 12 tablespoons
- Salt -- 1 teaspoon
- Nutmeg -- 1/4 teaspoon
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the unpeeled, whole sweet potatoes in a large saucepan and add enough cold water to cover them completely. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until barely tender. Remove from heat, drain and cover with cold water to chill completely.
- Peel the sweet potatoes and slice them into 1/2-inch thick rounds. Arrange the rounds neatly in a buttered casserole dish. Add the brown sugar, butter and salt to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium flame and cook for about 1 minute. Pour the butter-sugar mixture over the sweet potatoes and sprinkle the nutmeg over the top.
- Place the casserole dish into the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are heated through and lightly browned on the top.
Candied Sweet Potato Variations
- Marshmallow Topping: Sprinkle marshmallows to completely cover the potatoes and bake as directed until the marshmallows are melted and browned. At Eastertime, use chick- or rabbit-shaped marshmallows if you like.
- Nut Topping: Sprinkle 1/4 cup of chopped roasted pecans over the potatoes before baking.
- Butter-Sugar Mixture Variations: For an even richer, moister version, add 1 cup of half-and-half or heavy cream to the butter-sugar mixture and increase the baking time to 30 to 40 minutes. Or add a squeeze of orange or lemon juice and some orange or lemon zest.