Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Bourbon Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Fresh sweet potatoes baked in a cane syrup and brown sugar, bourbon glaze.

Bourbon Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Here in The Deep South, we absolutely love our sweet potatoes. And we love our cane syrup. Oh yeah, and our bourbon. You'll find it expressed in an awful lot of recipes, especially around the holidays, so it's no surprise that we love our sweet potatoes glazed with a syrupy bourbon too. For us down along this way, that's most often made using Steen's pure cane syrup, a well loved and local favorite from Louisiana.

Of course, if you don't have access to Steen's you could certainly substitute another brand of cane syrup, pure maple syrup, sorghum syrup, or even some molasses, loosened with a bit of corn syrup.

Now. They say (whoever they are) that liquor cooks off during the cooking process, but I don't buy into it and never have, which is why I don't generally cook with added wine or liquor in my recipes, since we have a non-drinker in the household (though I'll use a little bit of vanilla extract). I think some of it does burn off, but not all of it, so all that to say... this might be a dish that you should reserve for the adults.

A couple other things to note here. Jim Bean, Maker's Mark and even Jack Daniels are all good choices for this recipe. Use what you have and like. As far as butter, goes you will notice that I mostly use unsalted butter in the recipes that I write. The primary reason for that is just simple control over salt in my recipes - one stick of salted butter can contain between 3/4 and 1 full teaspoon of salt per stick. I do, however, keep both types in my freezer and which I use depends on what I'm making.

For this recipe I used fresh, raw sweet potatoes and felt the salted butter more appropriate. If you use unsalted butter instead, you'll probably want to add salt sprinkled on the layers. Also, if you substitute canned sweet potatoes or canned yams for the fresh sweet potatoes, understand that those often are canned in heavy syrup, so you will want to taste and adjust for sweetness.

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Recipe: Bourbon Glazed Sweet Potatoes

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 45 min |Cook time: 30 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

  • 3 pounds raw sweet potatoes, about 4
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold salted butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup pure cane syrup (like Steen's)
  • 1-1/2 cups brown sugar, packed and divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg (about 5 passes on a microplane)
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans, optional
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup bourbon

Bake the sweet potatoes at 400 degrees F for about 45-50 minutes, or just until fork tender but not mushy. Can be done in advance; can also boil whole until tender. Butter a 9 x 9 inch casserole dish; set aside. Once sweet potatoes are cooled, peel, cut into 1/2 inch rounds and layer into the casserole dish, sprinkling a few light pinches of salt in between the layers.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Melt half of the butter in a skillet, stirring in the cane syrup and half of the brown sugar until blended. Stir in the cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and pecans. Remove from the heat and stir in the bourbon. Taste and adjust as needed.

Pour the butter and bourbon mixture on top of the sweet potatoes. Cut the remaining butter into thin slices and spread over the top of the sweet potatoes. Sprinkle the rest of the brown sugar all over the top.

Bake, uncovered at 325 degrees F, basting a few times with a spoon or a baster, for about 25-30 minutes, or until bubbly and thickened.

Note: I call for the regular salted butter in this recipe since I used fresh, raw sweet potatoes and feel the salted butter more appropriate. If you use unsalted butter, you'll probably want to use some additional salt sprinkled on the layers. Also, if you substitute canned sweet potatoes or canned yams for the fresh sweet potatoes, understand that those are very often already heavily sweetened, and you may want to adjust the brown sugar accordingly.

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Posted by on November 23, 2010

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  1. Wow these sound delicious! These are a perfect addition to any Thanksgiving table!
    Hope you have a wonderful holiday!

  2. I would like to fix these for my church thanksgiving dinner. Is there a substitute for the Bourbon?

  3. You too Catherine!

    If you want to make them minus the bourbon just do a plain glazed version and leave the bourbon out. Add a bit of water to replace the liquid to loosen up the sugar mixture. Enjoy!

  4. I love sweet potatoes, and these look and sound especially good!

  5. oh, I'm drooling on my keyboard, delicious, Mary!


  6. Yum! These look and sound delish-I've always wondered about the alcohol cooking off...

  7. Oh my goodness! These look amazing. I might just be making this dish just because I can to go with dinner sometime soon. Yum as always.

    Happy Thanksgiving Mary.

  8. Yum yum! These look delicious! I've never used Steen's cane syrup before, I need to go track some down.

    Thanks for a great recipe and have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

  9. Oh my my, Mary! These look too good to eat. But I'd devour them anyway! I've just got to try this recipe since I have fallen in love with the numerous ways to prepare sweet potatoes in the South. My family never made them and I learned from a wonderful Tennessee lady! Have a fabulous, warm, happy and delicious Thanksgiving Mary! Hugs, Roz

  10. Okay Mary my family had their heart set on me bringing sweet potato casserole but now I'm torn with this recipe...what would you advise???

  11. These sound great. We are non drinkers so we stick to the apple sweet potatoes. My son came home from school and told me he would never eat raw bread dough because the yeast turns to alchohol. Thanks for the sugestion without the bourbon. I love sweet potatoes. We eat them all year long.I still have yet to convince my family of how great sweet potato pie is though. Come check out my cinnamon rolls.

  12. Alton Brown on "Good Eats" said that the alcohol never completely cooks out. There are some websites out there that give the percentage that dissipates within certain time periods, but it never completely goes away. I have a recovered alcoholic in the family and he's careful to stay away from any foods that have alcohol cooked in them. I'm thinking of substituting the bourbon with extra BUTTER. lol Yum!

    1. the bourbon flavor in this recipe is what makes it unique. they do make non-alcohol bourbon flavoring....works just as great for the flavor...but use small amount (1/2 -1 tsp.) and add a little water for the extra moisture needed for the "sauce".

  13. KakeDiva, make the one your family loves. Introduce this one some other time. :)

    Cinnamon rolls? I'm so there!

    Extra butter too? I love y'all!!! :)

    Happy Thanksgiving!!

  14. Okay so I made both...I looked everywhere for Cane syrup and had to settle for Maple Syrup instead...I loved these and the empty pan suggested the family loved them too. Only thing I would change was the amount of bourbon...my mom is a lightweight. Loved them!

  15. Thanks so much KakeDiva - glad you didn't just make these and not your "expected" dish!! We have all the traditional stuff and if something came missing I'd bet that there'd be a riot!! Glad y'all enjoyed the boozed up sweet potatoes LOL!! :)

  16. I've been reading over these recipes because I love sweet potatoes. The recipes seem fantastic and I will try them. One of the things that intrigues me are the photographs. The sweet potatoes that I get from my uncles farms are yellow (golden) and not orange. I am a former farm girl and in our part of the world yams are orange and sweet potatoes are yellow. Many places use the names interchangeably. To me, the flesh of yams are stringy and sweet potatoes are not. We don't use the cane syrup and in my mom's recipe for sweet potatoes we make our own syrup adding simply cinnamon, nutmeg, butter (lots) and I add a dash of vanilla to mine.

  17. There is a wide variety of different colors in the sweet potato family - most popular being orange and white - or what most people call yellow. They are both sweet potatoes though. As to yams, here in the Deep South, the terms "sweet potatoes" and "yams" are used synonymously, as one and the same. While there really are true yams - a tuberous root from West Africa, and nowhere near what we think of as a sweet potatoes, we don't get those here in the U.S. It is rumored that Louisiana sweet potato growers started called their sweet potatoes yams, in order to distinguish them from what they felt were far less superior northern sweet potatoes. :) Most often, when a recipe calls for "yams" they are referring to canned sweet potatoes, but if you check the cans, somewhere in small type on the label, usually under the word "yams," you'll see the words "sweet potatoes" also. We favor the orange sweet potatoes here in the Deep South.

  18. I'm hoping to make these for Thanksgiving. How much can be done the night before? Prep up to baking, or make and then reheat?

    1. You could certainly cook the sweet potatoes ahead and you could probably prepare the sauce, store separately then warm in the microwave before mixing with the sweet potatoes. You "might" be able to completely assemble, refrigerate, then bring to room temperature before baking, but I'm afraid the sweet potatoes being so porous would probably soak up the sauce. I'm not the biggest fan of cooking and reheating whole dishes because I think if affects the quality on reheating, making the dish taste more like leftovers, rather than freshly baked, so I rarely recommend that.

  19. Mary, These look absolutely delicious. Wow! I make Peach preserves, BBQ sauce (Sweet Baby Ray’s), Jack Daniels, chicken thighs, that this would pair perfectly with. The only problem is that some guests may walk a little funny afterwards. Your recipe calls for 1/2 c. of Bourbon. Mine uses a pint of Jack Daniels; save but for a wee touch of the creature for the chef.
    FYI: The opinion that all of the alcohol burns off during cooking, is totally false: And I get upset with celebrity chefs who say that it does. A professional chef knows that the general rule of thumb is that you are left with at least 20 percent of what you started off with. It’s always best to err on the side of caution. That’s why I won’t serve my chicken thighs at church functions; there are too many people in recovery.
    Thank you. God bless.

    1. I have never understood why that is constantly said either!

  20. The recipe talked about a 9 x 9 casserole dish. I usually prepare a larger 13 x 11 dish for my family for Thanksgiving, so that everyone can have a helping. Should I add another sweet potato to the recipe? What else to you recommend I increase of the ingredients listed?

  21. Thanks so much Mary. Happy Thanksgiving from Houston, TX!!

  22. Do you peel the sweet potatoes? Thank you for all your delicious receipes!

    1. You're welcome! Yes, the sweet potatoes are baked, cooled and then peeled and sliced.


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