Candied sweet potatoes are always on the menu at my family’s Thanksgiving dinners. I used to just layer the ingredients on top of the sweet potatoes but cooking the butter and sugar mixture on the stovetop first gives the topping some extra richness. This year my sweet potatoes were especially yummy because the caramelized sugar added a little extra crunch. This dish is a nice complement to roast pork or poultry but it can also be served as a dessert with the addition of raisins or chopped nuts and a scoop of ice cream, whipped cream, or all by itself. — L. Weal
5 sweet potatoes, quartered
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick (4 ounces) salted butter
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
medium (3-quart) pot
measuring cups and spoons
small (1-quart) pot
9″ x 13″ baking dish, lined with aluminum foil
1. Set oven to 375 degrees.
2. Cover quartered sweet potatoes with water in medium pot over high heat. Let boil until sweet potatoes are easily pierced with a fork — about 35 minutes.
3. Drain well, then set aside until cool enough to handle — about 20 minutes. Remove skins. [No peeler required; they will slip off easily.]
4. Cut sweet potatoes into bite-sized pieces, then arrange in prepared baking dish. Season with salt.
5. Melt butter in small pot over low heat.
6. Add sugars and spices, stirring slowly until sugar has melted.
7. Pour sugar mixture evenly over sweet potatoes.
8. Bake until sweet potatoes are lightly browned — about 20 minutes.
NOTES & TIPS
• For extra crispness, place sweet potatoes under broiler for a few minutes. Watch carefully so that sugar doesn’t burn.
1 hour, 15 minutes