Friday, December 3, 2010

Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallow Topping: Thanksgiving Part Two

Here is a riddle for you: when is a vegetable not a vegetable?

Answer: when it is whipped up with eggs and cream and sugar and spices and slathered with maple syrup and marshmallows!

This recipe, my friends, is a vegetable in dessert's clothing. After all, pretty much everything in life is a little bit better when it is overrun with marshmallows.... s'mores.... hot chocolate.... whole cities.....

Okay, maybe not cities. But definitely my Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallow Topping. This dish reeks of delicious fall flavors and is the perfect holiday side dish.

Sorry, broccoli, there is a new "vegetable" in town.

  • 5 large sweet potatoes. Pretty much the only redeeming nutritional aspect of this recipe. If you are lazy and/or strapped for time, I suppose you could also use canned sweet potatoes, but I make no guarantees since I haven't tried it this way.
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream. Loosen up that belt, it's the holidays!
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup, plus more to drizzle. I mean actual maple syrup, not that nasty Aunt Jemima pancake high fructose corn syrup bullshit.
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract. If you don't have it, don't worry about it. But it is a fantastic flavor addition.
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 big ole handful chopped pecan pieces. I bought the kind in a bag called "pecan chips" and they were perfect for the topping.
  • 1/2 package mini marshmallows. Say hello to your old friend Jet-Puffed.
One of the best parts about this dish is that it is easy to make ahead of time, which is crucial if you are trying to make an epic Thanksgiving feast like I did.

Just make the casserole minus the topping and pop it in the fridge overnight. Let it come up to room temperature the next day, add the topping, and bake as directed below. Enjoy!


If you are making this the same day you plan to serve it, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. If not, see above.

By far the worst part of making this dish is the peeling and chopping of the sweet potatoes. Peeling is time consuming, and you practically need an effing machete to cut through the raw potatoes. Like this guy.

If you have relatives around for the holidays, try to rope them into doing this part. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into large chunks.

Put the potatoes in a pot with just enough cold water to cover them and turn the heat to high. Let the potatoes boil away until they are tender enough to easily pierce with a fork, which should take about fifteen minutes or so.

Drain the potatoes and put them in a large mixing bowl. Mash them up with a potato masher (you can buy this at the grocery store and it will make this super easy). Add your cream, eggs, syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

You may finish mashing with the potato masher, but if you want a nice smooth casserole, YOU MUST WHIP IT. WHIP IT GOOD. (With a hand mixer). (Preferrably with Devo playing in the background).

Now whip it!
Into shape!
Shape it up!
Get straight!
Go forward!
Move ahead!
Try to detect it!
It's not too late!
To whip it!
Whip it good!

Anyways. Go ahead and spread your mixture into a 9X13 baking dish. If you are making this the day ahead, let it cool down, wrap it up, and stick it in the fridge. Otherwise, proceed to the next step. See? This recipe is like a choose-your-own-adventure!

Drizzle the top of the casserole with a bit more maple syrup. Sprinkle your handful of pecan pieces in an even layer. Then add your mini marshmallows.

Put the casserole in the oven for about 30 minutes or until it is hot and bubbly and the marshmallows are all melted and toasty brown. Your kitchen will smell like fat person heaven. Spoon onto a plate and dig in!

What are some of YOUR favorite holiday side dishes posing as vegetables?

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