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Southern Candied Sweet Potatoes {and Macy’s Giveaway}

November 18th, 2011 · 19 Comments

One of my favorite things about the holidays is learning the stories behind treasured family recipes. I’m a traditionalist when it comes to holiday meals, and yet I can’t resist the occasional tinkering or experimentation. While our Thanksgiving menu generally resembles the meals I had growing up, I’ve taken a few liberties with some dishes. We rarely spend the holiday with my own family, so I make the sweeter cranberry sauce we prefer instead of my aunt’s cranberry-orange relish, and add blue cheese to my mom’s green bean amandine. Other things, like sweet potato casserole, have made their way to our menu even though I don’t recall having had them as a kid.

For one of the first Thanksgiving meals my husband and I hosted, I decided to add a Southern twist to that ubiquitous sweet potato and marshmallow casserole. (This Oregon girl and New York boy now reside in Virginia; though just slightly in “The South,” there are a few Southern favorites we’ve embraced, like bourbon.) A splash of bourbon and crunch of pecans counters the sweetness, and the result is a fully-loaded crowd pleaser of a casserole that’s earned its place on the table every year. The kids go nuts for the marshmallows while the grown-ups like the sophistication of the bourbon. I’m kidding of course, the grown-ups go just as nuts for the marshmallows as the kids. After all, at what other meal of the year can you get away with topping the vegetables with candy?

southern candied sweet potatoes with bourbon

Recipe: Southern Candied Sweet Potatoes with Bourbon


  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes (about 6 large potatoes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves
  • 1/8 cup bourbon whiskey
  • 2 cups marshmallows


1. Wash, peel and cut potatoes into large chunks. Place in a large pot and fill with cold water to one inch above the potatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are fork tender. Drain.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread potatoes in an 9×12-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with salt, brown sugar, pecan pieces, and bourbon. Place marshmallows on top.

3. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until marshmallow tops are golden brown. Makes 6 servings.


macys recipe contestWhat’s your family’s favorite holiday dish? Macy’s wants to know: Macy’s is cooking up a storm at its Facebook page and asking fans to share their most-loved recipes here. Then, fans can vote for their favorites for a chance to win fun prizes! The Facebook contest is open until November 30.

And, you can enter to win a prize right here: Macy’s is offering one lucky FoodieTots reader a choice of one of four products:

–          Martha Stewart Professional Cookware Ceramic Covered Casserole Dish (perfect for sweet potato casserole!)

–          Martha Stewart Professional Cookware Hard Anodized Fry Pans (set of 3)

–          Martha Stewart Professional Cookware Stainless Steel 15” Roaster with Roasting Rack

–          Macy’s Culinary Council Thanksgiving and Holiday Cookbook

To enter, simply leave a comment below sharing which item you would choose and what you’d cook with it. The giveaway ends Friday, November 25 at 11:59pm, Eastern time. The winner will be notified by email so be sure to leave a valid email when you comment (will only be visible to me). For additional entries, tweet or share the contest on Facebook, then leave an additional comment here letting me know you’ve done so. Good luck, and happy cooking!

Update: Thanks everyone for entering our holiday giveaway — the contest is now closed and the lucky commenter is #13, Sara. Check your email, Sara!

Tags: family · foodietot faves · holiday · recipes

19 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jill // Nov 18, 2011 at 10:18 am

    I would choose the casserole dish – you can never have too many of those! I’d use it to make one of my baked pasta recipes or a luscious mac and cheese.

  • 2 Meghan
    Twitter: mkw70
    // Nov 18, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    I’d be all over that Roasting Rack like white on rice sister! Thank you for the giveaway.

  • 3 Latonya R // Nov 18, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    I would choose the fry pans. We do a lot of stir fry dishes with a lot of different meats.

  • 4 domestic diva // Nov 18, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    I would choose the ceramic covered casserole dish.

  • 5 Kristin B
    Twitter: carolinapanda
    // Nov 18, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    I’d pick the fry pans – maybe fry up some bacon for my MIL’s german potato salad we always eat on Christmas Eve – YUM!

  • 6 aubreylaine // Nov 19, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    I’d choose the casserole pan. I would make quiche, enchiladas and scalloped potatoes with it!
    littlegray88 at yahoo dot com

  • 7 Dee // Nov 20, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    I’d choose the Stainless Steel 15” Roaster with Roasting Rack and use it for some of my roasted chicken meals! :)

  • 8 Katrina // Nov 20, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    I would choose the Stainless Steel 15” Roaster with Roasting Rack…chicken anyone!

  • 9 Holly // Nov 20, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    I would choose the stainless steel roaster to cook a turkey.

  • 10 Melanie Trahan // Nov 20, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    I would choose the fry pans and cook a yummy steak.

  • 11 CorinneC @ freenergydiary // Nov 21, 2011 at 5:55 am

    Frying pan for me! Thanks for the recipe by the way!

  • 12 Rondah // Nov 23, 2011 at 4:22 am

    I would choose the frying pans. I need new pans to fry hamburgers or eggs in.
    rjs682 at yahoo dot com

  • 13 Sara // Nov 23, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    Thanks for the giveaway! I would make some eggs in the frying pans. Happy Holidays!

  • 14 andrea // Nov 25, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    I would choose the ceramic casserole dish…found out yesterday I’m definitely in need of one! Big thanks to Macy’s and hope you had a nice Thanksgiving! :)

  • 15 Ryana // Nov 25, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    I would choose the roaster to make venison roasts
    ryanac32 {at} yahoo {dot} com

  • 16 Tanya // Nov 25, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    I like the set of fry pans. I could sautee veggies in them
    tmc480 at yahoo dot com

  • 17 foodietots
    Twitter: foodietots
    // Nov 28, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    Thanks everyone for entering our holiday giveaway — the contest is now closed and the lucky commenter is #13, Sara. Check your email, Sara!

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