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How to Make Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Bourbon

4 of 10

Mashed sweet potatoes are almost ubiquitous on Thanksgiving tables, but this recipe calls for an optional splash of bourbon. Make Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Bourbon the day before the holiday and reheat in the microwave when needed. It's a time-saving, budget-friendly side dish that can feed a crowd.

You can peel and boil the sweet potatoes or even cook them in the microwave, but when you bake them in the oven as in this recipe, the high, dry heat brings out the sugars and makes them particularly luscious.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Bourbon

[Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/msheldrake 2010]
Credit: ©iStockphoto.com/msheldrake 2010

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 60 minutes

Yield: 10 servings

5 pounds sweet potatoes

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup lightly packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup whole milk or half-and-half

1/3 cup bourbon (optional)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Scrub the potatoes clean, pierce the flesh in several places, and bake for about 50 minutes, or until they’re easily pierced with a knife.

    You can put them on a sheet pan or right on the oven’s rack. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes, until they’re easy to handle.

  2. Slice the potatoes in half lengthwise and scrape the soft, cooked flesh into a mixing bowl with a spoon. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and begin to mash the potatoes; the butter will melt. Add the sugar and continue to mash. Slowly add the milk, bourbon, cinnamon, and salt and mash until the sweet potatoes are smooth.

    You can leave out the bourbon, if you like. If you make them according to the recipe, the sweet potatoes will have a bit of a kick. Adults may like it, but kids might not. You could leave it out and substitute an equal amount of orange juice, cider, or additional milk.

    Serve immediately or proceed with the following steps if you’re making them a day ahead.

  3. Grease a 2-quart baking dish with 1 tablespoon butter, pack in the mashed sweet potatoes, and dot with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temperature before reheating.

  4. Reheat, uncovered, in oven or microwave.

    As with the mashed potatoes, these take to reheating very well, and you can reheat them at a variety of temperatures.


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