There are so many ways to make sweet potatoes, yams, whatever you choose to call them (yes there’s an official difference between the two but all we really care about is the yummy mix-ins, right?)
For Christmas dinner my inlaws bake fresh sliced yams and layer them with spiced apples. At Thanksgiving my aunt likes to use canned yams, mixed with a super caramelized sauce. And if you’ve ever been to Texas Roadhouse they make a really good baked whole yam with caramel and marshmallows on top, year round.
I like them all.
(big surprise since I love pumpkin. Once a squash/yam/pumpkiny lover, always a squash lover)
But my favorite way to make yams is my mom’s recipe here (thank you Mom!) The sweet potatoes are whipped with brown sugar and baked in a dish with a crunchy brown sugar pecan topping. It’s a wonderful go-to side dish any time of the year.
We all love it around here.
Sometimes though I miss the cheap marshmallow topping. So this year I’m doing His and Her’s–two halves of the recipe; different topping on each.
His and Hers Candy Crunch Yams
3 (29 oz) cans sweet potatoes, drained (reserve 1/4 cup of the liquid)
1/4 cup reserved juice from sweet potatoes
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbl lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
Candy Crunch Topping
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
enough mini-marshmallows to cover the dish
Heat the over to 350 degrees. Spray/grease a 9×13 pan or (2) square pans.
In a large deep bowl mash and whip the potatoes using an electric mixer. Add the egg, reserved juice, salt, brown sugar, lemon juice and vanilla, and beat again until smooth. Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared pan (or pans)
I used two dishes this time so I can have the best of both worlds.
Then pick your topping.
Brown sugar, butter, marshmallows, pecans. What’s not to like?
For the Candy Crunch Topping….
In a small bowl mix the brown sugar, flour, melted butter and chopped pecans until crumbly (use your hands if it’s easier). Sprinkle the crumbs over the sweet potatoes (if making this dish a day ahead, wait and add the topping just before baking so the nuts don’t soften). You can also leave the nuts out and it’s still delicious.
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the sweet potatoes are bubbly. Let stand fifteen minutes before serving.
For the Marshmallow topping….
Do not add the brown sugar topping (or you could! Make it a double-whammy) and bake the potatoes as stated above. In the last 3-5 minutes of baking sprinkle the entire dish with mini-marshmallows and bake just until they’re golden on the outside. BUT WATCH IT closely. The mallows brown quickly.
Then take a bite.
Decide which one if your favorite.
Or consume them both.