Candied Pecan Topped Sweet Potatoes

I'll pass on the marshmallows, please. If you're a fan of marshmallows on top of sweet potatoes, this post may not appeal to you since there are no marshmallows to be found here. I'm not sure what it is about marshmallows on top of the ever popular sweet potato casserole that others love. For me, I'm not a fan of the texture or how it even adds to the dish. Instead, I'd rather have Candied Pecan Topped Sweet Potatoes because it's sweet, crunchy and well, more my style. Besides, marshmallows are much better used in rice krispie treats and smores!...

A couple days ago I shared my favorite mashed potato as of late. Well, these sweet potatoes take on a similar technique but made with the sweet tooth in mind. Preparing these sweet potatoes is similar to the Creamy Chive Mashed Potatoes because it uses butter, cream cheese and half & half. The difference is that this also incorporates pure maple syrup for that sweetness.

As for the candied pecan topping, it couldn't be easier to make. Whole pecans are tossed with dark brown sugar, an egg white and a pinch of salt. Feel free to add more spices like cinnamon and nutmeg if you'd like but I love it all on its own. Place the topping over the mashed sweet potatoes and bake. Now how easy was that?!

The best part of this dish is the crispy, sweet pecan topping that blankets the top and underneath is the smooth and creamy sweet potatoes with the hint of maple syrup. It's pure sweet comfort food that goes well with all the favorite Thanksgiving flavors...

Candied Pecan Topped Sweet Potatoes
recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated

Sweet Potatoes:
5 pounds sweet potatoes
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 package (8 Oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (to 3/4 Cups) half & half, warmed
1/2 cup pure maple syrup

Candied Pecan Topping:
2 cups whole pecans
1 egg white
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
pinch of salt

Peel and cut the potatoes into pieces that are generally the same size. Bring a large pot of water to a simmer and add the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 to 35 minutes or until soft enough to easily poke with a fork.

Drain the potatoes in a large colander and return to the empty pot. Place over low heat and mash the potatoes until any liquid/water has evaporated.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Remove the pot from stove and add 2 sticks of butter, cream cheese, warmed half & half and maple syrup to the mashed potatoes. Continue mashing until fully incorporated. Transfer the mixture to an oven-proof 9x13 serving dish and top with slices of the remaining butter.

Combine the ingredients for the topping. Place the pecan mixture over the sweet potatoes. Bake in the preheated oven until the pecans are toasted and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

1 comment

  1. Oh man, look at those big candied pecans on top. These sound awesome. I didn't make sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving, but I think they may need to make an appearance in one of the coming weeks.