Sides

Favorite Candied Yams

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When it comes to Thanksgiving dishes, yams seem to be one of those sides that people either love or hate. I love sweet potatoes, but am not usually a fan of the canned stuff. I was determined this year to find the perfect yams recipe that brings out the true potential for this superfood as a Thanksgiving side. The ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and brown sugar complement the sweetness of the potatoes perfectly and are everything I love about the holidays.

It’s important to note that while this recipe is referred to as candied yams, yam recipes don’t typically use yams at all. They use sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are sweeter and softer when cooked, and have an orange-colored flesh inside. Yams are longer with a darker skin and white-colored flesh, and are bitter and generally much bigger than sweet potatoes. It’s definitely recommended to use sweet potatoes, and not actual yams, in your favorite candied yams recipe!

Start by gathering your ingredients, and washing, peeling, and slicing the sweet potatoes. I highly recommend covering the sweet potatoes or keeping in a bowl of cold water as you slice them to help reduce enzymatic browning. While these tubulars have a beautiful natural orange color, they tend to develop dark spots and quickly oxidize once peeled.

Melt the stick of butter over medium-low heat in a small nonstick saucepan. Add in the granulated and brown sugar, and stir quickly until smooth to break out any lumps before it starts to simmer. Add in the nutmeg, ginger, allspice, cinnamon, and vanilla and continue to stir as the mixture reaches a simmer.

Place the sliced sweet potatoes in a lightly greased baking dish, and pour the candied mixture on top. Once all of the sliced potatoes have been covered in the syrup, cover the dish in aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees.

After the first 35 minutes, pull the dish from the oven and stir the potatoes to allow them to finish cooking evenly. Recover and cook for an additional 35 minutes.

Pull the dish from the oven and allow to cool until it’s at a safe temperature to eat (the syrup will be extremely hot). The syrup will thicken as it cools, and the potatoes should be soft, yet retain their original shape. Enjoy!

Favorite Candied Yams

Course: SidesDifficulty: Easy
Servings

6

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

1

hour 

10

minutes

Ingredients

  • Ingredients Needed

  • 5 medium sized sweet yams, peeled, washed, cut into 1/2 inch slices

  • 1/2 cup butter

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger

  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp teaspoon ground allspice

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Wash, peel, and cut sweet potatoes, then place in baking dish. Cover and set aside.
  • Melt butter over medium-low heat, then add sugars to saucepan. Stir quickly to combine the butter and sugar and prevent burning.
  • Add nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, ginger and pure vanilla extract. Stir continuously until blended and to prevent burning while cooking. Once mixture reaches a simmer for about five minutes, remove from heat.
  • Pour candied yam mixture over sweet potatoes. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes.
  • Uncover foil and gently stir yams to distribute candied syrup and allow even cooking.
  • Bake for an additional 35 minutes. Allow to sit 10-15 minutes for syrup to thicken. Cool to a safe temperature before serving.

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