Notes From The Kitchen
Random Musings and Stories
Hi folks, this is Mark and I'll be providing the recipe today. But first, if you'll indulge me, I'd like to tell a story about the recipe. Grandma Mitchell was many wonderful things however a great cook was not one of them. She had some dishes she could do very well but for the most part, food was simply something you had to eat. This was not the case, though, once the holidays came around. She fixed for us what was then, and is still to this day, one of my favorite dishes -- it's just so good. It's the sweet potato recipe I'll be providing in just a bit.
So imagine my concern one Thanksgiving, when she brought over sweet potato balls for dinner and they were terrible. They had almost a soapy taste to them. This was THE dish. This was the one thing that she always made well. What was wrong? Was there something going on with grandma that we didn't know about? I had to say something about it but I had to be delicate about it. So I took mom aside and told her, "I think there's something wrong with grandma. You know she can make the sweet potatoes, right? Well, these sweet potatoes are terrible! Something has to be wrong. There's just no other excuse.
Later, after dinner was but a memory and grandma had headed back home, mom started laughing and asked if I wanted to know what was wrong with the sweet potatoes. Of course I did! And it was then that I learned the horrid truth of those sweet potato balls -- they were from a can. It seems grandma had been busy and hadn't had time to prepare sweet potatoes to make them but she knew how much I loved them and wanted to make sure they were there. So, she bought a can of sweet potatoes and later told mom what she had done, adding, "I hope nobody noticed." Thankfully, we had several more Thanksgivings with grandma and also thankfully, we had no more with canned sweet potatoes.
The recipe - This isn't exactly Grandma's recipe but it's close. I've added some embellishments to it and recommend you play around with it, too. That's part of the fun of cooking.
4-5 large sweet potatoes
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup butter
8 large marshmallows
1 cup crushed corn flakes (or if you want to be fancier about it, use chopped pecans or walnuts)
Utensils (not all necessary but they definitely make the job easier):
1 quart zip lock bag
ice cream scoop
First, we need to convert the whole sweet potatoes to mashed potatoes. You can peel, cube, then boil them until soft which is not a fun time for me. You can bake them in the oven for more time than I have patience for. Or you can do it the way I do and poke some holes in them with a fork, then bake them in the microwave. I like this method because once they're done, you can let them cool slightly, halve them, then scoop them right out of the peel with a large kitchen spoon. Whichever method you decide to go with, the important thing is to cook them to a soft, mashable state but not to overcook them. While the potatoes are baking/boiling, take the corn flakes and crush them, if not already done. The easiest way is to put them in the quart bag and roll over them with a rolling pin or large glass jar. You can also do it by putting them in a large bowl and pressing them with the bottom of a coffee cup.
Now that we have our potatoes, we need to mash them: combine your cooked potatoes, butter, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large mixing bowl. Now mash them. You can use a stick masher, mixer, or stand mixer -- just mash them until they're smooth and consistent and can hold together well when rolled into a ball.
We have some delicious mashed sweet potatoes now that would be just fine for eating as-is. But that's not what this recipe is about. Now you want to take your ice cream scoop and scoop out some of the sweet potato mixture. If you're not using an ice cream scoop, use a spoon to scoop out about a lemon-sized scoop of the mixture. Into the center of this scoop, press one of the large marshmallows. Turn the scoop out into your hand and roll into a ball around the marshmallow. If your cornflakes are in the quart bag, drop the ball into the crushed corn flakes (or nuts if you went that route), toss around until covered, then place on an oiled or parchment-covered baking tray. Continue until out of marshmallows or potatoes.
Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, or until the marshmallow just starts to run. Serve warm and enjoy!
My name is Susan and I, along with my husband Mark, am the owner and operator of The Corner Cabinet, LLC. I spend my days baking the goodies we sell in our store and love trying out new recipes. I'll be sharing recipes here periodically, in the hopes that others enjoy them as much as we do. The recipes posted will be recipes we've either tried and enjoyed or are my own personal recipes. Any jokes or puns posted are all Mark's and I apologize in advance for them.