Saturday, November 28, 2009

Holiday Sweet Potatoes from Heart in Hand

This Thanksgiving I made Jenn McKinley's Sweet Potato Balls crusted with coconut for Thanksgiving. They turned out great and everyone loved them. I made them a few hours ahead of time, refrigerated them, and slipped them into the oven at almost the last minute. Easy cooking. Even better -- nothing exploded!

But there's also another sweet potato recipe that I adore. Made with Grand Marnier and pineapple, it takes a simple sweet potato casserole to new and elegant heights.

Many years ago, a friend of mine used to go to Heart in Hand restaurant in Clifton, Virginia. He very kindly gave me a copy of their cookbook, Cooking with Heart in Hand, by Suzanne Winningham Worsham. Over the years, I've enjoyed many of the recipes, but one stands out -- their Holiday Sweet Potatoes.

The restaurant and catering services are still in operation today, in a building once known as Buckley Brother's General Store, the largest general store in Fairfax County. Over the years, the likes of Nancy Reagan and Rosemary Clooney have dined there. And the opening scene of Broadcast News was filmed there!

The Worshams have very kindly given me permission to reprint their excellent sweet potato recipe. I hope you love it as much as I do!

Holiday Sweet Potatoes

Serves 8 - 10

4 1/2 cups mashed sweet potatoes, cooked
1/2 cup butter, melted
1-20 ounce can crushed pineapple, including juice
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1-5.33 ounce can evaporated milk
1/2 cup raisins
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup Grand Marnier
1/4 cup orange liquor (good quality)
2 tablespoons grated orange rind
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Puree sweet potatoes and butter in food processor. Combine the pineapple and juice, sugar, milk, raisins, and eggs. Mix well. Add Grand Marnier, orange liquor, and orange rind. Pour into buttered casserole. Sprinkle marshmallows and pecans on top. Bake 20 minutes.




  1. Sweet potatoes are my husband's very favorite things to eat. He'll be delighted that you've given us another recipe to try! Even better, I think I have all these ingredients. :)

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  2. Great recipe, Krista! I'm always on the lookout for something new and this one sounds wonderful.


  3. I'm not a sweet potato kind of person, but this recipe and Jenn's sound like winners. I will definitely try for the holidays!

  4. Krista - I'm a big fan of sweet potatoes and this recipe looks amazing. The Grand Marnier, orange rind, and pecans alone make me want to rush into the kitchen and try it--and rush out to get the "Heart in Hand" cookbook from which it came. (BTW: Broadcast News is one of my very favorite films.) Thank you for sharing this with us!

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  5. This has all kinds of goodies in it. I'm sure it's delicious!

  6. Grand Marnier? I'm in. This looks fabulous, Krista. I'm delighted my balls didn't explode on you! LOL!