Classic sweet potato casserole revisited with bourbon and pecans

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This adult version of the sweet potato pan will delight the taste buds of your guests. Sweet, buttery, crunchy flavors and textures—combined with the hint of bourbon—make this the perfect side dish for the holidays.

Starting in the early 1900s, home cooks began adding marshmallows to the top of their sweet potato pans. It is common knowledge that the recipe was actually part of a promotion by the Cracker Jack Company to increase the popularity of their Angelus brand of marshmallows.

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Although it may have been a marketing ploy, Americans seized on the idea and never let go. But this year, why not brighten up the old standby with a peppy little crunch?

SWEET POTATO AND BOURBON PECAN CASSEROLE

Makes: 6-8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 small sweet potatoes (dark-skinned orange potatoes)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons bourbon

Filling ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (1/2 generous cup)
  • 1/2 cup crushed cornflakes
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/3 stick of butter

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Place the yams in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Cook over medium heat, with the lid slightly ajar, until the yams can be pierced easily with a fork.
  3. Drain the potatoes. Using a potato masher, mash until all lumps are removed. Add the butter and continue to crush until well blended. Put aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, including sugar, eggs, salt, milk, vanilla, and bourbon. Mix well.
  5. Add the sugar mixture to the mashed sweet potatoes.
  6. Pour the mixture into a 9″ x 12″ casserole dish. Put aside.
  7. Heat topping ingredients (brown sugar, corn flakes, pecans and butter) in a small saucepan until melted. Mix well.
  8. Spread the filling on top of the casserole and bake for 30 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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