Here is a simple, yet slightly decadent sweet potato recipe, which is perfect for the holidays. The scent of aromatic spices and toasty pecans warm up the kitchen as fresh sweet potatoes bake in a brown sugar glaze. Even if you aren’t a fan of sweet potatoes, this recipe is hard to resist. And best of all, it is easy to make. The most difficult part of this recipe is peeling and dicing the sweet potatoes. I like to share sweet potato recipes in the autumn; since Louisiana-harvested sweet potatoes are so readily available. Plus, they are quite nutritious. This year I am sharing a holiday recipe which deviates a bit from the nutritional angle — but this recipe is so very good — serve it for a special occasion.
Since sweet potatoes are a Louisiana agricultural product, I feature recipes for this nutritious root vegetable in the autumn when they are harvested. Surprisingly, I have found many ways to add sweet potatoes to recipes. My past posted recipes have ranged from soups, to Brazilian sweet potato bread to Cajun sweet potato fries to Ruth Chris Restaurant’s sweet potato casserole. This recipe, “Brown Sugar Glazed Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallow & Pecan Topping,” might be one of my favorites. It is very easy to make and I love the marshmallow topping. Woops, looks like I burnt the marshmallows. Don’t do that.
I describe this recipe as a little decedent. The brown sugar glaze adds a sweet touch to the sweet potato casserole. Plus, you are eating marshmallows at the dinner table; not for dessert. Yum. But the aromatic spices and marshmallow-pecan topping help tone down the sweet potato flavor for those of us which are hesitant about eating sweet potatoes. And the toasted pecans add crunch and flavor. I always use fresh sweet potatoes for casserole-type recipes rather than canned sweet potatoes or yams. Fresh sweet potatoes have a milder flavor than the canned ones. And I don’t want to skip the pleasure of peeling and dicing three sweet potatoes.
I scaled down the quantities of this recipe from my original source to make a smaller dish. I used enough sweet potatoes to fill a 9″ round Pyrex or ceramic casserole dish. This might help avoid too many leftovers at the Thanksgiving dinner. There is always so much food at our extended family’s Thanksgiving dinner that you really only need a “taste” of each dish.
Since this sweet potato casserole is baked and served in the same dish, I picked an attractive casserole dish for the recipe. Just make sure that the dish you use can tolerate a 500 degree oven which is needed to toast the marshmallows.
Here are the ingredients for this recipe. I used cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg for aromatic spices. Brown sugar and margarine make the glaze. Each of these sweet potatoes weigh about 8 ounces each; I used only three of them to make this casserole dish.
To make this recipe, peel and dice the sweet potatoes. I cut the chunks into small 1/2″ to 3/4″ cubes. Add these raw sweet potato cubes to the casserole dish. In a small saucepan, melt the margarine and brown sugar. Add the spices and salt.
Pour the syrup over the sweet potatoes and mix to combine.
Cover very tightly with aluminum foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes until the sweet potato cubes are tender. Remove the aluminum foil, carefully gently toss to combine (the sweet potatoes will be hot, so be careful). Bake 15 minutes longer to evaporate off some of the liquid in the bottom of the casserole dish. If some of the cubes become mashed when you are tossing them, that’s okay.
The topping consists of miniature marshmallows and chopped pecans. How many marshmallows? I used 1/2 the bag; you really only need enough to cover the casserole dish in one layer — use 3 cups or about 1/3 of the bag. I got carried away.
Don’t skip the pecans. Their crunch and aromatic scent really enhance this dish.
Sprinkle the marshmallows over the top of the casserole dish and then add the pecans.
Turn the oven up to 500 degrees. Roast the casserole dish for only 3 minutes until the marshmallows brown and the pecan pieces begin to give an aromatic scent to the kitchen. Check carefully; the marshmallows brown quickly. Some of mine burnt.
Ready to serve. Who minds eating dessert during the main meal. I think my relatives will like this dish. Let’s be festive this holiday season. Enjoy!
Brown Sugar Glazed Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallow and Pecan Topping
- 3 medium sweet potatoes (1-1/2 lb purchased, about 6 cups diced potatoes)
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 4 Tbsp (1/4 cup) butter or margarine
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 3 – 4 cups miniature marshmallows
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Method and Steps:
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 9″ diameter round Pyrex casserole dish or 9″ x 9″ square dish. (May use ceramic dish if oven proof to 500 degrees F.)
- Peel sweet potatoes, removing blemishes and cut into 1/2″ to 3/4″ cubes. Arrange potatoes in oiled casserole dish.
- Combine light brown sugar, butter, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in a heavy small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.
- Pour over potatoes; toss to coat.
- Cover dish very tightly with aluminum foil. Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.
- Uncover, carefully toss to coat potatoes again with syrup (potatoes are hot). If some of the potatoes become mashed, that’s okay. Continue to bake for 15 minutes until the syrup thickens and some of it evaporates.
- Remove casserole dish from oven. Increase oven temperature to 500 degrees F.
- Top sweet potatoes with marshmallows. Then sprinkle chopped pecans over the top.
- Return to oven and bake until marshmallows begin to melt and brown and nuts become aromatic, about 3 minutes.