Thursday, December 6, 2012

Sweet Potato Casserole

Many years ago, as a new bride, I came across a recipe that I thought I'd try.  I don't care for sweet potatoes, but I knew that Ben liked them.  So, I volunteered to make sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving one year and Ben was my guinea pig taste-tester.  I found the original recipe in a Southern Living magazine I had, and I modified it.  Please remember that I rarely follow a recipe to the letter.  However, I will list the measurements for the original recipe, and will approximate my modifications.

4-1/2 pounds of sweet potatoes
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup butter softened
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Approx. 3 cups of corn flakes
Approx. 1/2 to 3/4 cup of chopped pecans
Approx. 1-1/2 cups of brown sugar
Approx. 1/2 stick butter, melted
Approx. 2 Tsp cinnamon
Approx. 3/4 bag of miniature marshmallows.

Bake the sweet potatoes at 400 degrees for approximately 1 hour or until tender.  Let them cool to touch, then peel and dice up in a large bowl.  I'll often bake the sweet potatoes a day or two ahead of time and refrigerate them until I'm ready for them.

Beat the sweet potatoes, sugar and next 5 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until it's smooth.  Spread the sweet potato mixture into a prepared 13X9 baking dish.  Now, here's where I start to change things up a bit.  I take two big handfuls of brown sugar and spread it evenly over the top of the sweet potatoes.

In a large plastic storage bag, combine the cornflakes, pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon and butter.  Crush up the cornflakes and shake until it's all combined well and all of the cornflakes appear to be coated well with the butter.  Now I put a very thin layer of the cornflake mixture over the entire casserole so that you get a little crunch in each bite.  Then I take the remainder of the flake mixture and layer it diagonally across the top of the sweet potatoes.

Bake this at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Let it rest for approximately 10 minutes.  Then layer the marshmallows diagonally next to the rows of cornflakes.  Bake for another 10 minutes or until the marshmallows are golden.  Remove from oven, and let it stand for approximately 10 minutes before serving.

I still haven't tasted this, but I know it's a family favorite.  I have to make two of these each Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I tried to get out of making it this year, but I had several people tell me that I just had to make it.  So there you go.

Oh, as a side note, if you add only a tbs or so of butter to the cornflake mixture and toast it just a little, you can eat it as cereal.  My boys like it, and they say it tastes like Honey Bunches of Oats to them. 

As always, if you try this, let me know what you think. 
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