candied sweet potato casserole

a holiday dish that'll find it's way to your table throughout the year - this candied sweet potato casserole combines classic candied sweet potatoes with a deliciously decadent maple-pecans topping.  a rich - healthier - take on the standard sweet potato casserole. 

happy thanksgiving!! we hope everyone is having a fun, relaxed day filled with great food - LOTS of it! - and family.  and one of the best things about thanksgiving are those classic recipes that we make year after year.  sure, there may be a few tweaks here and there, but at the end of the day, when we sit down to enjoy the feast, it's the traditional dishes that grace our plates.

growing up, thanksgiving always, always included candied sweet potatoes.  gloriously sticky, buttery and sweet.  i would stand by the stove as my mom stirred that magical butter - sugar mixture, adding the soft sweet potatoes at just the right moment.  such a simple recipe, but with such scrumptious results.  i couldn't wait to sit down and fill my plate with those candied sweets.   

sweet potato casserole on the other hand, with it's toasted marshmallow topping, is something that i have still never tasted.  isn't it funny how traditions work like that? but there was something intriguing about it, as is often true of odd and unusual food combinations.  

now that i am in charge of bringing the sweet potatoes to thanksgiving, i decided that this year i would shake it up a bit and combine the two dishes, creating a healthier-but-still-decadent version of the classics.  and that brings me to this recipe.

maple syrup brings a depth of flavor to the brown sugar & butter, and sweet, nutty pecans top the thing off - the flavors blending perfectly.  this dish may be new to our thanksgiving table, but it is already a classic.      

recipe: candied sweet potato casserole

ingredients:

  • 3lb sweet potatoes, peeled & large-diced (cubed)
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp butter, divided
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp brown sugar, divided
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 3/4 c pecans
  • salt
  • cinnamon

method:

  1. cook the sweet potatoes until barely tender - boiling or steaming, about 15 minutes
  2. while the potatoes are cooking, melt 1 tsp butter in a small skillet
  3. add the cinnamon, a pinch of salt, 1 Tbsp brown sugar, 1 tsp maple syrup & the pecans
  4. cook on low until the sugar is disolved and the pecans are coated 
  5. remove from heat & set aside
  6. when the potatoes are cooked, drain & set aside to cool slightly.
  7. while the potatoes are cooling, heat the 1 Tbsp butter in a large skillet with 1 tsp brown sugar, 1 Tbsp maple syrup & a pinch of salt
  8. when the sugar is disolved, add the sweet potatoes & stir to combine 
  9. when the sweet potatoes are fully coated in the butter-sugar mixture, remove from heat and transfer 1 c to a small bowl
  10. smash the removed 1 c with a fork and return to the pan, stirring to combine
  11. spoon the sweet potatoes into a buttered casserole dish, smooth the top & sprinkle evenly with the pecans
  12. bake at 375 for 15 - 20 minutes, until the pecans are just beginning to toast
  13. remove from the oven & serve hot
  14. enjoy!

xoxo

s & h