This Candied Yams recipe has always been and always will be one of my Thanksgiving favorites!
This Candied Yams Recipe is so delicious and sweet it gives a whole new meaning to the term Candied Yams!
All week I have told stories and shared family memories about Thanksgiving. I have told you how horrible of a cook I use to be; I told you how my grandfather use to make two turkey’s for Thanksgiving; and I encouraged you to go with your families to see the movie Almost Christmas. But what I have not shared with you is the heart of what Thanksgiving means to me. The heart of Thanksgiving starts with my Grandma Daisy. My grandma (I’m going to try to type this without crying) was everything to me. She practically raised me! My mother had me at 19 and she was trying to figure out who she was and what she wanted to do with her life. My father enlisted in the Army and thus creating a non-existent relationship between he and I. The person who gave me love and nurturing was my grandmother. She taught me how to cook, be polite, and respectful. She taught me how to clean, clean myself, and did I say clean (she was a clean freak)? I got a lot out of her during her time here. It’s crazy because although I was only blessed to spend 13 short years with her, I still remember her like I was just with her yesterday. I can still smell her at times and feel her presence.
I truly believe that she has somehow reincarnated her spirit and it landed right in the center of my heart. I find myself becoming more and more like her and wanting to do things that I know she would want to do and love! My grandmother was BIG in creating traditions. Between her and her two sisters, Rosetta and Lela (who is still with us), those three women kept all of their families, who are my cousins, together. Every year, we could count on spending the 4th of July together at Aunt Lela’s house, Christmas Eve we would get together at Aunt Lela’s house, and just random holidays and celebrations at… Aunt Lela’s house. We looked forward to it every year. Now that my grandmother and Aunt Rosetta is gone, and my Aunt Lela doesn’t have as much energy as she use to, we don’t come together as often as we use to or should. What makes this even more sad is there is no bad blood amongst us! We all still genuinely love and accept one another! We never feel out or got into some big family clash (that I know of). Those three pillars of women kept us together and the idea of the generation after them, which would be my mother and older first cousins passing on without re-establishing the family the way it use to be, haunts me to be honest. I want my children to know who their Great Grandmother Daisy was and still is. As life continues to move and history continues to depreciate, I fear that traditional family values will get lost in the world of trendy movies and social media that is inspired by top beauty trends, Pokemon Go, and celebrity gossip. Establishing strong and healthy family values is something that isn’t glorified or appreciated as it once was. It is something that I honestly fear will get lost as time progress.
I know that was a lot of “soap” for a post about a Candied Yams Recipe. What I am hoping is that you understand that a childhood recipe, particularly, a childhood favorite for any occasion, often stems from a special person. With the thoughts of that person, triggers special memories and feelings that hopefully brings happiness and joy. For me, Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches always has and always will be a favorite of mine because of my grandmother, so will Candied Yams. Every-single-day after school, my grandmother would have a PB&J Sandwich waiting for me at the kitchen table along with chips and Kool-Aid from my favorite drinking cup. I still remember that cup. It was a tanned glass with yellow and blue trim around the top and bottom edges, and it had ducks around it. It was my cup and I loved it! Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches that is. Not because PB&J is so great, but because my grandmother made them just for me. Every-single-Thanksgiving my grandmother made sure there were two dishes waiting for me and those were Candied Yams and canned Cranberry Sauce. To this DAY, Thanksgiving is not Thanksgiving for me, without those two dishes. I will eat but it will not be the same. Do you see what I mean? Every dish at Thanksgiving has a special memory of a special person in my life that is important for me. Enjoying these dishes around the holidays pays homage to their memory and recognizing them as a part of my life. That is what food is all about people! Making memories, bring families together, and keeping culture and history alive. That is why I blog! And these Candied Yams will be the reason you will NEED to workout the next day!
When I was going through my cooking woes, I couldn’t figure out for the life of me how to make sweet potatoes as sweet and buttery as my grandma. I mean really! When I tried to make them, they would just taste like sweet potatoes with sugar on them. I didn’t find them to be very good. My mom would make her version of Candied Yams, which she topped off with marshmallows every year. They were delicious too. However, I wanted to master the Candied Yams recipe effect. So with a lot of trials and uneaten yams I finally mastered a recipe that will hopefully get passed down with my family and is talked about years after I leave this planet. I invented this Candied Yams recipe last year and couldn’t WAIT to share with you guys. I peeled fresh sweet potatoes, roasted them in the oven, and made the sugar sauce on the stove that consists of brown sugar, vanilla, butter, and Bourbon! I poured that sauce over the roasted potatoes and put them back in the oven and BABY…I made Candied Yams that my entire family would be proud of! There is no way I am deviating from how I make my yams. It’s easy, simple, and deliciously sweet! If you do not have that one recipe that you make around the holidays and no one has made their mark in the sweet potato department, make these and I promise your family will be BEGGING for you to make them every year! You will be the “Daisy” in your family.
If you like this recipe, check these out that will also be great for your Thanksgiving dinner!
- 8 large sweet potatoes, peeled
- ½ c. canola oil
- 2 ½ sticks butter
- 1 ½ c. light brown sugar
- ½ c. sugar
- 1 tbsp. Unsulfured molasses
- ¼ c. Bourbon
- 1 ½ tsp. Cinnamon
- ½ tsp. All spice
- ⅓ c. pecan pieces
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350 Degrees
- Peel and cut the sweet potatoes in medium chunks and place in a large bowl. Drizzle with canola oil and toss to coat evenly. Spread in a 9X13 rectangle casserole dish. Baked for 45 minutes to an hour. Potatoes should be fork tender.
- In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar, sugar, and molasses. Whisk on medium heat until well mixed. The mixture will begin to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Next add, the bourbon, cinnamon, and allspice, whisk for another 3 minutes. Once the sauce begins to bubble slightly, pour on top of the sweet potatoes. Sprinkle the pecans on top of the sweet potatoes and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Cover with aluminum foil and cook for 25 minutes. Leave the aluminum foil over the dish until ready to serve.