When I was a kid, I hated sweet potatoes. They were too sweet and the melted marshmallows grossed me out. As an adult, I enjoy my sweet potatoes with butter and a dash of salt and pepper. As a standard staple plan sweet potatoes became boring at special events.
A couple of years ago, I decided to try a new recipe for candied sweet potatoes. This recipe is great. It is easy to make and it gives the sweet potatoes a refreshing twist with a tart sweetness that will add to any special event. The vanilla and orange juice cut through the heaviness of the brown sugar for a perfect blend of yummy. Don't substitute vanilla extract for the actual vanilla beans, the vanilla bean provides a stronger flavor needed to balance out the orange juice. Don't be concerned about the bourbon over powering the dish, most of it evaporates and just leaves a hint of a nutty after taste.
- 8 Large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into eighths
- 3 Cups light brown sugar
- 1 Cup water
- 1 Cup fresh orange juice
- 2 Vanilla beans, split in half lengthwise
- 2 Teaspoons orange zest
- 2 Teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 Cup bourbon
- 1 stick butter, cut into pieces
- Marshmallows, optional. Note: If traditional sweet potatoes are too sweet for your liking, do not add marshmallows to this dish.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a large heavy pot, combine the potatoes, sugar, water, orange juice, vanilla beans, orange zest, cinnamon and salt.
- Bring to a simmer over high heat.
- Reduce the heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
- Strain the potatoes out of the sauce and pace in a 9 x 13 casserole dish.
- Return the sauce to the pan.
- Add bourbon to the sauce and continue to cook until syrup is thickened, about 15 minutes.
- Pour the syrup over the potatoes and pace in oven.
- Bake until potatoes are browned, about 10-15 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and add butter, stirring gently into the mixture. If desired, top with a bag of marshmallows, pace back in oven 5 minutes or until marshmallows are lightly browned.
- Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Anza is a single mother of four who makes her home in Colorado. She enjoys writing, hiking and is an avid football and hockey fan. She is the owner of a virtual business services company; writing is just one of the many services her company offers. Learn more about Anza...
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