New York Times bestselling author, slow cooking expert and mommy blogger next door
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A Year of Slow Cooking

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Slow Cooker Candied Sweet Potatoes Recipe

This recipe has been updated from the first time I wrote it.
Here is the one you should use:

1 tablespoon butter
7 to 8 sweet potatoes, or yams, peeled and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1/2 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 to 1 cup mini marshmallows (to add after cooking)

Use a 4-quart slow cooker. Rub the butter onto the inside of your slow cooker. Layer in the sweet potato slices. In a small mixing bowl, combine the orange juice, vanilla, cinnamon, brown sugar, and kosher salt. Pour this mixture evenly over the top of the sweet potatoes. 
Cover, and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours, or on high for 3 to 4 hours. When potatoes are soft, scoop into an oven-safe dish, dot with marshmallows, and broil in the oven for 3 to 5 minutes, or until marshmallows have JUST begun to brown.


 Day 10.

It is not Thanksgiving. But I promised the kids that I would make something yummy tonight. They chose "those really good potato things that grandma makes with marshmallows."

I am pretty sure that my mom makes them from a can. Which is totally fine--but I did happen to have a bag of sweet potatoes in the crisper drawer. (new ones. not the bag from here.)

After opening and closing cabinet doors way too many times, I settled on the following:

The Ingredients:

--12 oz bag of peeled and sliced sweet potatoes (or 3-4 peeled and chopped real ones)
--1 t vanilla
--1/4 cup brown sugar
--1/2 t cinnamon
-- a teeny tiny pinch of Kosher salt
--pat of butter (not a lot, it's just to grease the crock)
-- 1/4 cup of orange juice
--enough mini marshmallows to dot on top
after I took the photo I realized I didn't account for any liquid. Luckily, we had these little guys:

The Directions:

Butter the inside bottom and sides of your stoneware. Dump in the chopped sweet potatoes and all ingredients. Toss with your hands (or spoons if you are feeling dainty). Dot enough marshmallows on top to satisfy young children. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hrs or 2-3 on high.

See how the marshmallows are all clumpy and weird looking? That is apparently what happens when you buy marshmallows 18 months ago and then forget all about them.

The Verdict:

I'd make this again, but I think next time I'll use the small 1.5 qt crock or double it. This was plenty of food for a side dish for one meal for us four, but there weren't any leftovers.

It tasted amazing. I could have gotten away with 1/2 of the sugar amount. The taste was exactly like the canned stuff. But this cooked for 5 1/2 hours--so it has to be better, right?


The marshmallows completely disappear while cooking. Warn small children.

Trust me.

updated 12/08: I made these for our Thanksgiving dinner, and they were amazing. I doubled the recipe and didn't add the marshmallows until the very end. Instead, I scooped the finished sweet potatoes out of the crock, and put in a round corningware dish. I added the marshmallows, and broiled in the oven for 3-5 minutes until the marshmallows were browned nicely. We had 10 adults and 5 kids for dinner, and everyone loved them. It seems the secret to feeding kids is to starve them beforehand... ;-)

other great side dishes to make for a holiday meal:

company's Coming Potato AuGratin
pecan-topped baked sweet potatoes
traditional stuffing
cornbread stuffing
corn risotto
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Edi said...

I like your blog idea - I'll be checking back!

Since I was married I had a very small crockpot and that finally got too small and old, so now I have a BIG one. Actually probably too big.

But anyway - I don't use it as much as I could/should b/c I just don't know what to do with it. That's where you come in. Thanks.

Damsel said...

I pink puffy heart sweet potatoes cooked like this -- I've just never tried it in the crock pot. Maybe it's time to change that! :)

Carm said...

HI-I saw your blog link on an aol food board. I love it!! I also have a crockpot that I never use, and would love to find different dishes that have been tested to try!! Love your blog!!
I was wondering--you put the sweet potatoes in raw?? did you use the juice from 2 oranges or the 1/4 cup? Sounds delicious and I want to try?
Thank you!

Crockpot Lady said...

carm, if we hadn't finished the orange juice for breakfast, I would have used regular orange juice. The juice from those two little oranges is what I happened to use instead. Yup, the sweet potatoes were raw.
thank you!

donna said...

I wonder if the marshmallows could be added near the end of the cooking? How long do you suppose it takes to just soften them as opposed to melting them? ...just thinking out loud in cyberspace.

Love your blog-can't wait to check it every day :)

Jennifer P. said...

The only way I like sweet potatoes is in a fry (have you ever tried sweet potato fries?). But the pictures are lovely and the marshmallows made me laugh! Huzzah for unlimited shelf life!

Thanks for the sweet comment on my blog. I feel a bit like the ugly duckling that people decided to name prom queen being featured on TCB, but I'll go with that!

Stacy said...

Those look really yummy! I only wish the hubby would eat them, and then I could cook them. He doesn't think anything sweet should be served at dinnertime. *sigh*

I have chicken soup in the crockpot house is going to smell divine when I get home from work. :)

I think I those same marshmallows in the pantry, too. ;)

Lynn Douglass said...

Suzanne Earley turned me on to your blog. I do use my crockpot quite a bit, but haven't gotten very creative with it. I'm definitely going to try the chicken enchilada casserole! Your blog is not only informative, it's fun to read!

Vickie said...

I just found you through Creative Blogs. You are definitely on my favorites list! I've been wanting to use my crockpot more. I can't wait to try recipes :)

Anu said...

Steph, sorry if I sound totally ignorant but I come from a country where crockpot has not surfaced (India).

What is the motivation to cook in a crockpot as against, say, a pressure cooker? Is the food healthier? (I thought veggies would lose enzymes from long cooking times..) What about power consumption? Does the crockpot consume too much power from being on all those hours?

Once again, I'm vegetarian so the idea of tenderising meat does not talk to me :)

Crockpot Lady said...

Hi vickie! hi lynn!

anu, I haven't ever used a pressure cooker, so I don't know the difference--I wish I did. I don't have actual statistics, but from the cookbooks I've read, I've gathered that crockpot cooking is very energy-efficient. Although I enjoy making Al Gore happy, I think what *really* makes me happy is the whole "set it and forget it" aspect to crockpotting. I adore throwing something in there and then going about my day doing other things while dinner (or dessert, or sides, and apparently mulled wine which I'm very excited to try...) cook unattended.

Anu said...

Thanks steph.. I just needed a minute nudge to make the purchase!

Stoofers said...

What a great idea for a blog! I enjoy reading all your commentary! I'm excited to see what other great things you come up with this year!

tara said...

did you know that marshmallows can be frozen? i haven't tried it myself, but saw it on a cooking show, so it must be true. and if you're using them for this recipe again, if you toss them in frozen, maybe they won't completely melt away....someone should try it =)

frances said...

I made this for Thanksgiving dinner and my family loved them. We couldn't find peeled, sliced, bagged sweet potatoes, so we used 7 whole potatoes chopped and doubled everything but the sugar (upped that to 1/3 cup). Everybody loved these. Great blog!

TrishT said...

I only have a large slow cooker. This burned but had great potential. Next time I am going to try your trick of putting it in a smaller heat safe container inside. I've decided to start from Jan 01 08 and try every recipe I think the fam will eat. I've made 8 so far in the last month. I'm might be a little obsessed. THANKS!

Anonymous said...

Yep, I'm making them again for Mother's Day. Can you believe my mom was planning a turkey dinner with no sweet potatoes? That's just unAmerican. Happy Mother's Day Stephanie. Hope it's wonderful.


Sarah said...

Thanks for the recipe. the sweet potatoes got lots of compliments.

Theresa said...

Used our 1.5qt for this, but they were so yummy that next time we'll do more in the 4qt! Just delicious! I didn't have orange juice or oranges, so I used some apple cider, which I think I like better!

Ligia Suciu said...

You are stinking HILARIOUS! I love your blog & have made a few of your recipes with great success. I'm looking forward to trying many more. Thank you :)

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