Saturday, December 11, 2021

Roasted Sweet Potato Spears with Molasses and Horseradish from @MysteryMacRae


My mother made candied yams a few times, when I was growing up, but as far as I remember she never made the sweet potato and marshmallow combo one often sees at holiday meals. I think the marshmallow might have turned her off. I feel certain, though, that Mom and Dad would both have loved this recipe, with its savory twist on candied yams, as much as my family and I do.

I’ve been making Roasted Sweet Potato Spears with Molasses and Horseradish since Thanksgiving 2003. But that Thanksgiving I got caught up talking and laughing on the phone with my sister Jenny and I roasted the potatoes quite a bit longer than the recipe called for. The partially caramelized spears that resulted were a revelation! Darker than the picture in the magazine, but with a terrific, dark flavor. The original recipe called for running the molasses horseradish mixture through the blender and then straining it to make a glaze. I didn’t do that. It seemed like a waste of time (not to mention messy), and a waste of horseradish.

These sweet potato spears will make you stand up and cheer. We certainly do. It wouldn’t be the holiday season without the Molasses Horseradish Sweet Potato Spear cheer.  

Roasted Sweet Potato Spears with Molasses and Horseradish

(adapted from the November 2003 issue of Gourmet)

preheat oven to 450 with oven rack in lower third



3 lb medium sweet potatoes, peeled

¼ cup vegetable oil

¾ teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ teaspoon salt

⅓ cup molasses

⅓ cup bottled horseradish, including juice (straight horseradish, not creamed)



1.      If potatoes are longer than 6 inches, cut them in half. Cut the halves (or the whole potatoes) lengthwise into spears half an inch to an inch at their wide ends.

2.      Toss potatoes with oil and salt in a large bowl, then spread in a single layer in a large shallow baking pan (1 inch deep.) 

3.      Roast in lower third of oven, turning once or twice, until tender and beginning to caramelize, 30-35 minutes. Leave oven on.

4.      While potatoes roast, bring butter, molasses, horseradish, and salt to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring as the butter melts. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and reduced to about ¾ cup, 10 or 15 minutes.

5.      Pour molasses horseradish mixture over roasted sweet potatoes and gently toss until coated. 

6.      Just before serving, return sweet potatoes to oven and reheat 5 minutes or so. 

Note:  Sweet potatoes can be roasted 2 hours ahead. Toss with molasses horseradish mixture and reheat before serving.

Something poisonous is coming March 1, 2022!


About Argyles and Arsenic – book 5 in the Highland Bookshop Mysteries:

After 93 well-lived years, Violet MacAskill is ready to simplify her life. Her eccentric solution? She’ll throw a decanting and decluttering party at her family home—a Scottish Baronial manor near the seaside town of Inversgail, Scotland. Violet sets aside everything she wants or needs, then she invites her many friends in to sip sherry and help themselves to whatever they want from all that’s left.

But a murder during Violet’s party leads to a poisonous game of cat and mouse – with the women of Yon Bonnie Books playing to win.

Available for pre-order in hardback and e-book from your locally owned independent bookstore, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon. Or ask your public library to consider ordering it.

The Boston Globe says Molly MacRae writes “murder with a dose of drollery.” She’s the author of the award-winning, national bestselling Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries and the Highland Bookshop Mysteries. As Margaret Welch, she writes books for Annie’s Fiction. Her short stories have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine since 1990 and she’s a winner of the Sherwood Anderson Award for Short Fiction. Visit Molly on Facebook and Pinterest and connect with her on Twitter  or Instagram.






  1. Ooo, tangy sweet! A great combination.

  2. Thanks, Libby! They really are delicious.

  3. Need to send this to my sister. We never enjoyed the marshmallow sweet potatoes our aunts would make but to politely eat some. We do have a memory affection for molasses that comes from the lunch would eat when we were kids.

  4. I want to try them they sound so delicious.