Sweet potatoes with marshmallow topping are a holiday food that cause just about as much disagreement as fruitcake – maybe more, because lots of people actually like this sweet potato dish. Others . . . well, I remember reading a Thanksgiving cookbook whose author had meant to put in a recipe for them, but, as she wrote, just couldn’t bring herself to do it.
Still, for many families, sweet potatoes in some form are just part of Thanksgiving. And of course there are other ways to cook them. You can always just bake them like regular potatoes, but there are more interesting ways to go. I wanted to find one that echoed the sweetness and color of the marshmallow-topped kind, using more natural ingredients. They also had to be quicker and easier – no peeling or mashing.
These sweet potatoes have all those advantages, plus one more: Unlike marshmallows, carrots don’t collapse in the oven. Okay, I’m not pretending that carrots are anything like an all-purpose substitute for marshmallows –- you certainly can’t melt them down to make Rice Krispies squares, and they’re no good in hot chocolate. But they do have a lot of natural sugar, which comes out when they’re cooked.
Don’t like carrots? I understand – really! Just skip that part. When you take the sweet potato out of the oven and cut it in half, make a crisscross pattern with a knife on the cut sides and brush them with sour cream and brown sugar before putting them back in, and go on from there.
- 1 large sweet potato
- 6 baby carrots
- 2 teaspoons sour cream
- brown sugar for sprinkling
- Steam the carrots till tender and let them cool.
- Cut into rounds, about 3 each.
- Stir in sour cream to coat.
- Make a few slits in the sweet potato and bake at 350º for 45 minutes.
- Carefully take out the sweet potato and cut in half the long way.
- With a fork, mash the cut sides of the sweet potato slightly.
- Top the potato halves with the carrot mixture, mixing slightly.
- Sprinkle a little brown sugar on top.
- Return potato halves to oven for 15 minutes till sugar melts and/or browns a little.
- If you’re brave, try putting the filled sweet potato halves under the broiler for a few minutes to brown the topping. Keep an eye on them though!
- If your broiler is under the oven, try putting them there.