Candied sweet potatoes are my favorite Thanksgiving side. They are sweet, caramelized, and have such a rich flavor. I start mine on the stove and finish in the oven during the last half hour of Thanksgiving cooking to develop its deep color and richness.
Remember, I do not track WW points or calories during the holidays.
Candied Sweet Potatoes Made Ahead
Sweet potatoes are great because all of the ingredients can be bought weeks before Thanksgiving, and you can get this started the day before too. Sweet potatoes can be boiled the day before, stored in an air tight container, and assembled the day of Thanksgiving. This recipe, however, is simple enough that you can whip it up while the turkey is in the oven.
If you want to really get ahead of your Thanksgiving prep, you can make this full recipe, allow it to cool, store in the refrigerator, and simply warm (covered) for about 30 minutes at 350° F to reheat.
Karo Syrup Candied Sweet Potatoes
My grandmother always used dark Karo syrup in her sweet potatoes. The smell and deep flavor remind me of her making these sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving. It's the only recipe I know using Karo syrup, and it is the holiday dish I associate with her the most.
The dark corn syrup gives these a molasses like flavor that works so well with the sweetness of the brown sugar and sweet potatoes. It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without it.
Preparing Your Sweet Potatoes
For this recipe, I boil my sweet potatoes because I want that a smooth texture with a slight bite to my potatoes. It's not quite whipped sweet potato casserole, but it is not the texture of roasted. That being said, you can roast these ahead of time for a firmer potato or you can whip them like mashed potatoes and bake.
Cooking Candied Sweet Potatoes in the Oven
For this recipe, you are boiling the sweet potatoes, starting the caramelization in the pot, and finishing in the oven. You can continue cooking these in the pot for the full hour, but it makes it easier (for me) to put it in a casserole dish and put it out of sight. I try to keep as little on the stovetop as possible during Thanksgiving.
After boiling for 30 minutes in the syrup, you can cover and set aside until you are ready for the oven. I usually set it out on the counter to sync up with my stuffing so I am taking both of them out at the same time. This recipe is very forgiving, by the way, and overcooking 15-30 minutes won't ruin the dish although you will end up with slightly softer sweet potatoes.
Candied Sweet Potatoes
Candied sweet potatoes like my grandmother used to make. These are a Thanksgiving tradition with sweet, caramelized sweet potatoes.
- 3 lb. peeled sweet potatoes, cut in large (about 1.5 inch) cubes
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 8 tbsp. Butter
- 2 cups dark Karo syrup
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Boil sweet potatoes until they are just about fork tender
- Drain sweet potatoes, and put back into the same pot.
- Add butter, brown sugar, karo syrup, and salt.
- Cook on medium low heat for 1 hour. The sauce will be bubbling (like a low boil) through most of this cooking.
- Alternatively, and how I prefer to do this, transfer to a casserole dish after 30 minutes and cook at 350° F for another 30-40 minutes.
- Sauce will thicken and darken as it cools.
This can be made the day before more than one way. You can cut and boil the sweet potatoes in advance and make the sauce the day of Thanksgiving. Alternatively, you can make the whole dish, allow to cool, and wrap up and store in the refridgerator. The day of Thanksgiving, simply reheat, covered, at 350° F.