Monday, November 21, 2011

Granny’s Sweet Potatoes

*Full recipe added to the end of this post.

Everyone has a favorite candied sweet potato recipe for Thanksgiving.  This is mine.  You gotta try it at least once.  You’ll never go back!  It’s easy and delicious.
DSCF5153 This is my big stock pot.  This recipe is about all I use it for because it’s so big.  I have to make  A LOT of sweet potatoes because everyone loves them and you’ve got to have leftovers, right?
DSCF5154I buy between 8-10 lbs of sweet potatoes.  The best part is you don’t have to peel them.  Just cut them into really thick slices, throw them in the water, add 2 TBSP lemon juice to the water (bottled is fine), bring to a boil and then set your timer for 15 minutes.  When they’re done, drain and leave to cool enough to handle.  They don’t need to be completely cooked through because they’re going to bake later.  Peel (the peelings will slip right off after they’ve boiled), and place them into a greased baking pan with at least 2” sides.  I only do one layer per pan.  I used the disposable foil pans this time and they worked just fine.  If you use the disposable foil pans, be sure to set them on a cookie sheet while baking so the bottoms don’t burn and for stability when moving the pans around.
DSCF5156Now don’t freak out over this next part.  Just do as I say and be happy…it’s Thanksgiving DAMMIT!
Dump approximately 1 1/2 cups of sugar on top of each pan of potatoes…
DSCF5157I know that’s a lot of sugar, but these are called CANDIED sweet potatoes.  You need the sugar to make the syrup that will form while they are baking.  Just dump it on.  When in doubt, dump some more!
DSCF5158 You are going to then use 1 stick of BUTTER per pan.  Slice them up and place them over the potatoes.  Sprinkle pure vanilla extract over both pans.  I place my finger over the opening of the bottle, turn it upside down over the pans, and shake it around.  DO NOT STIR during any of this process.
DSCF5159 Place your cookie sheets and pans into a preheated 350 degree F. oven.  Bake for 50 minutes to an hour.  Check them at 50 to make sure they are not burning on the bottom.  The butter and sugar will melt together and boil, making the luscious syrup that make these so good.  The crusty parts that form are really good too.  We fight over these bits at my house.  It’s THAT good.
Remove from the oven but, again, DO NOT STIR OR COVER.  If you cover the pans at this point, you will ruin your candy & syrup and it will get all watery…GROSS!  I always let these sit at least two hours before serving.  We think they are better that way.

Pammy Sue forgot to take a picture of the finished recipe.
What a dumbass!  Jeez!
This is a picture of some leftover potatoes I brought home.  This is before I reheated them in the microwave.  Those clumps of butter will melt when you reheat.

Here is the recipe to print:
Candied Sweet Potatoes
(Recipe for one pan; may be doubled)
5 lbs of Sweet Potatoes
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 1/2 cups white sugar, divided
1 stick real butter
Vanilla (2-3 tsp)

Cut unpeeled potatoes into thick slices (approx. 1 1/2 inches thick).  Place slices into a pan of water for boiling.  Add 1 Tbsp lemon juice.  (This helps the potatoes retain their pretty orange color before and/or after cooking.)  Bring to a boil and boil for 15 minutes.  Potatoes may not be completely cooked through and that’s fine.  Drain and cool enough to handle.

Remove peelings from potato slices.  They will slip right off at this point just using your hands.  Place one layer of potatoes into a deep baking pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Dump sugar evenly over all.  Slice cold butter and place over the potatoes.  Sprinkle vanilla extract over all.  Do not stir at any point during this process.  Cover with plastic wrap when the potatoes have completely cooled and refrigerate until ready to bake.

Bake in a preheated 350-degree F. oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour.  Check at 50 minutes to make sure that they aren’t burning on the bottom.  Be careful!  The syrup will be boiling-hot and sticky.  If they’re not in danger of burning, continue baking for the full hour.  DO NOT COVER.  Let sit uncovered for 1-2 hours before serving slightly warm or at room temperature.  Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator, but do not cover until they are completely cool.

Curse and kick yourself for not doubling this recipe and making two pans.

Note:  This is my Granny Levoi Barton’s recipe.  She made them on top of the stove in a heavy skillet.  She tried to teach all of her granddaughters how to do it, but we always either burned them or didn’t cook them long enough to get the candied effect.  My sister altered the method so that we can now just bake them and they come out perfect every time.


  1. Heavenly delight. But, Scooter is the only sweet potato lover in this house. Maybe, a sweet potato fry for me, but I have to be fooled with a lot of ketchup. Thank goodness my friend is bring me some for him. But, will put this on file for when his family comes. As they have about 28 S.P. Lovers on his side. It is tempting however......

    Glad to hear you had a good day yesterday. And I gather you are feeling better now.

  2. Excuse me? Who doesn't like butter and sugar? Are you kidding me??!!!

  3. Not the butter and sugar part, it's the S.P. part. I'll just take the butter and sugar plain, please... giggle

  4. OMG this sounds amazing and easy! I love love love no peeling! Thank for the recipie!

  5. Those look yummy. But I make my own a whole 'nother way. I cook my sweet potatoes or yams like you do, but then I sprinkle them with BROWN sugar and butter and sprinkle them with cinnamon and cover them with mini marshmallows and chopped pecans. YUM! Funny how we all do stuff a different way!

    *H*A*P*P*Y* *T*H*A*N*K*S*G*I*V*I*N*G*!*!*

  6. Pammy, this looks all kind of decadent and fabulous,and perfect! I would like to try them one day, but I make my Nana's candied sweet potatoes, every bit as fattening and ooey gooey delicious!!! Looks wonderful!! Enjoy your holiday! Hope you are feeling better and able to see the baby now. How is she doing?
    xo Kris

  7. These look terrific. I'm a cheat and use canned sweet potatoes for my casserole. But Shhhhhh...don't tell anyone. :-) Happy Thanksgiving to you and your newly expanded family.

  8. yummy! im making a sweet potato casserole w/2 cups...1 white sugar, 1 brown sugar. Just hope all this sugar doesnt hurt my diabetic Hubby

  9. Have I mentioned that I love sweet potatoes and my Hubby doesn't! It's not fair. Maybe I could buy one sweet potato and try your recipe because it looks so darn good. I love to read your blog Pammy Sue cause you always make me laugh.


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