If I close my eyes I can still feel the warmth of the kitchen. I can hear Broadway songs coming from the record player and my grandma’s voice happily singing along. And, I can almost, just almost, taste my grandma’s buttery candied yams.

My grandparents are the best cooks I've ever known and each Thanksgiving we were treated to a feast fit for royalty. Thanksgiving is the holiday when my grandma would make her candied yams, always a favorite of mine and my siblings.

Although I watched my Bobs (yes- that’s the name I call her) make her candied yams year after year, there never was a formal recipe written down. I mean, I imagine that some of the best foods that you ate when you were young also were made up of a 'little of this, a little of that.' A pinch of this, a pinch of that, and somehow the dish(es) always came out perfectly.

Whether you've never made candied yams for Thanksgiving, or you have but you're looking for a new recipe, maybe give this a try this year. While my grandma's recipe isn't written down anywhere, I found this one in my 1950's version of The Joy of Cooking cookbook, adapted it a little and you know what? It came out tasting virtually identical to the dish that my grandma used to make. If you give this a try for Thanksgiving, I'd love to know your thoughts!


  • 32oz. can of sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup of chopped pecans (or walnuts- your pick)
  • 7 or 8 large marshmallows cut in half


The very first thing you'll want to do is preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Open the can of sweet potatoes and drain them and then cut them into quarters. Put the drained, cut sweet potatoes in a glass casserole dish and crumble brown sugar over the top of the sweet potatoes. Cut up the stick of butter and lay on top of the sweet potato/brown sugar and remember this...the more butter, the yummier. Sprinkle everything in the dish with the chopped nuts and then top with the marshmallows. Pop the dish into the preheated oven and cook for 20 minutes. For extra gooey candied yams, put a few more marshmallows on top and bake for another 10 minutes or until the marshmallow starts to brown.


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