Creamy, rich sweet potatoes are mashed and flavored with bourbon then covered with a crunchy-sweet praline topping, and baked. It’s a holiday side dish that has just the right amount of special. Move aside, marshmallows.
So as many of y’all know from reading the Facebook page we had a pre-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving last week when my son and daughter-in-law came into town. They are both with the Thunderbirds team and were doing an air show locally. It was the first time in 10 years I’d had a Thanksgiving with my son and I was super excited. I made way too much food!
It did give me the opportunity to get some pictures of recipes that are traditional at my table so that I could share them with you. Bourbon sweet potatoes is one of them. Now, we did have an argument about this. My older two said I never made the sweet potatoes with bourbon or praline when they were kids and I always used marshmallows. I am pretty sure I made them that way for at least half the time.
I use fresh sweet potatoes – they grow really well around here and are usually pretty plentiful at the farmer’s market. I like to use heirlooms when I can but I’ll take what I can get. Yams work fine. Once they are whipped up with the vanilla, brown sugar, and bourbon they are just amazing. I always put plenty of black pepper in them, too. Then the praline topping is added so you end up with this crunchy topping and creamy sweet potatoes that leave a little kick of bourbon at the end. I usually just make these for the holidays but they go as well with ham as they do turkey or goose.
Use a good bourbon. Once, right after my husband and I were married I used an entire bottle of his very expensive bourbon for my holiday baking.
I love antique plates. The plate in the picture is 100 year old bone china. It’s actually a saucer to a cup and saucer set I have but it had such a pretty autumn motif that I used it. It’s Bavarian and believe me, that image does not do it justice! The color and luminosity is incredible.
I love living in an old house – I have a fireplace in the kitchen. I used to decorate for every holiday but I don’t have so much time anymore. This is as far as I’ve gotten this year. We’ll see if I can get some more done. Still, it definitely says “AUTUMN!” don’t you think? The print is from the 1940s – I’ve always loved it. When I was little I’d imagine myself walking down the road.
Anyway – give this a trial run before the big day and let me know what you think!
Bourbon Sweet Potatoes with Praline Topping
- 4 pounds sweet potatoes or yams
- 1/3 cup heavy cream, , more as needed
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, , melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup good quality bourbon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons roasted cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- Peel potatoes, cut, and simmer in salted water until very tender.
- Add them to the bowl of your mixer.
- add the remaining ingredients, except topping, and whip until smooth.
- Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Spoon into a greased casserole dish.
- Sprinkle with the pecan topping.
- Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.
- Melt butter in a heavy saucepan.
- Add the chopped pecans and brown sugar.
- Cook, stirring often, until the pecans are well coated.
- Spoon the topping over the potatoes.
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