Sweet Potatoes with Bourbon Red-Eye Glaze

November 4, 2015
Sweet Potatoes with Bourbon Red-Eye Glaze - The complex, bittersweet syrup for these roasted sweet potatoes is inspired by Southern red-eye gravy

I've always thought I romanticized


Photo Credit: Tumblr.com

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cooking magazines like Bon Appetit .. only because I love to flip through them for inspiration.

Certainly, that's still the case .. although lately, I've begun to wonder if there isn't a bit more to the story. Realizing there's also comfort in surrendering myself to a recipe's every word

With the page marked by a colored post-it flag for quick reference .. I take great care to ensure I'm doing exactly as it directs. All the while hoping it turns out as delicious as the photo makes it look .. leaving me with something different to surprise my husband with for dinner .. aside from our everyday normals.

The past few weeks I've been a strange but wonderful phase .. where my creative attention has been directed toward other things .. outside of the kitchen.

Fall has been absolutely beautiful in Iowa .. and I've found myself distracted by anything outside. Not to mention a photography class that's made me excited to practice

every chance I get

Sweet Potatoes with Bourbon Red-Eye Glaze - The complex, bittersweet syrup for these roasted sweet potatoes is inspired by Southern red-eye gravy

So I've been cooking .. either from our bookshelves that are filled with inspiration .. or resorting to our staples. I've wondered if it's a rut .. but decided it's just a different season .. one to offer grace .. letting time and attention drift to other places.

Or maybe it's simply nice sometimes .. to let someone else .. tell me what to do

Bon Appetit never fails .. and is precisely the magazine if you're looking for someone to be your guide. Their recipes are inspiring .. rarely fail .. and often highlight a technique .. or an interesting twist .. that not only helps with the recipe .. but makes one a better cook

all the way around

These sweet potatoes are my favorite kind of recipe. They'd make a wonderful addition to a dinner party's menu .. or even better .. a holiday side. Familiar flavors make them feel comforting .. with a couple of twists added for surprise

Snoopy Thanksgiving

Photo Credit: The LA Times.com

If you're a follower of The Veggies you'll know I've been cooking an awful lot with sweet potatoes this fall. They're hard to beat once they've been roasted .. crispy and caramelized on the outside and creamy on the inside.

(ps:  If you've yet to try the Thyme Parmesan Roasted Sweet Potatoes .. my goodness are they ever good!)

Here .. the bourbon and maple glaze is .. well .. divine.

Inspired by Southern red-eye gravy .. it's a complex .. bittersweet syrup. The kind of sauce you'll want to eat on everything. We've added the left-overs to oatmeal .. stirred it into our yogurt .. and spooned it over grilled meat and other veggies

Sweet Potatoes with Bourbon Red-Eye Glaze - The complex, bittersweet syrup for these roasted sweet potatoes is inspired by Southern red-eye gravy

A few notes about the recipe:

The reduction process goes a lot faster if you're able to use a wider pan. Also .. begin the reduction at a low temp .. increasing it slowly .. making sure to stir it often with a wooden spoon

The original recipe called for a crazy amount of butter .. nine tablespoons(!) to coat the sweet potatoes before putting them in the oven. Don't get me wrong .. I'm sure with all the butter they'd be absolutely delicious.

Instead .. I tossed them with a few tablespoons of olive oil and a strong pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

In the original recipe, the sauce is kept separate from the potatoes .. until it's drizzled on top .. just before serving. It's a great option .. allowing you to make the sauce a couple of days ahead of time.

Here .. I gently mixed it with the sweet potatoes part way through baking.



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~ Adapted from Bon Appetit | November 2012

Sweet Potatoes with Bourbon Red-Eye Glaze
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 14 Servings
  • 1½ cups strong hot coffee
  • 9 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 3 Tbsp (packed) organic dark brown sugar (** or coconut sugar)
  • ½ tsp instant espresso powder
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • ⅓ cup bourbon
  • 5 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (about 8 medium), peeled, cut into 2½"-3" pieces
  • 3-4 Tbsp olive oil (** or coconut oil)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup chopped smoked almonds (or toasted almonds)
  1. Sauce
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat add the coffee, maple syrup, brown sugar, and espresso powder (see the recipe's notes .. if you have a wide saucepan, now would be a good time to use it)
  3. Heat, stirring periodically until the sugar has dissolved.
  4. Bring the mix to a boil and continue to cook until the sauce has thickened and reduced by half (~ 8-10 minutes)
  5. Reduce the heat to low, add the bourbon and butter, and simmer until the sauce has been reduced to about ¾ cup (~ 40-45 min .. less if you're using a wider pan)
  6. ** Note: The sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon, and will thicken more as it cools
  7. Season the sauce to taste with salt + pepper.
  8. (** Note: The sauce can be made up to 2 days ahead. Cover .. chill .. and re-warm before serving)

  9. Sweet Potatoes
  10. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  11. Arrange racks in upper and lower thirds of oven
  12. In a medium-sized bowl, toss the sweet potatoes with olive oil. Season with a strong pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  13. Divide the sweet potatoes between 2 large rimmed baking sheets, and roast, turning them often and rotating sheets halfway through

  14. If you'd like to roast the sweet potatoes and drizzle the sauce on just before serving:
  15. Roast the sweet potatoes 30-35 minutes. You'll know they're done when they're tender and start to turn golden brown and crisp around the edges
  16. ** Note: The sweet potatoes can be roasted 4 hours ahead. Let them stand at room temperature and rewarm them before continuing**
  17. Transfer sweet potatoes to a serving platter
  18. Drizzle some warmed sauce over and sprinkle with almonds.
  19. Serve the remaining sauce alongside for those who may want more

  20. If you'd like to roast the sweet potatoes and add the sauce while they're baking
  21. Roast the sweet potatoes for 20-25 minutes.
  22. Remove the baking sheets from the oven.
  23. Drizzle the ½ - ¾ of the sauce over the sweet potatoes and gently mix to combine
  24. Put the baking trays back in the oven and roast another 10-15 minutes
  25. Transfer them to a serving platter and sprinkle with almonds
  26. Serve the remaining sauce alongside for those who may want more
Nutritional Data by %
% Protein: 3
% Carbs: 38
% Fat: 19
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Serving (1/14 Total Recipe) Calories: 320 Fat: 14.14 Carbohydrates: 30.86 Sugar: 10.29 Protein: 2.86

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1 Comment

  • Reply Ana De- Jesus March 28, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    I love sweet potato, especially when they are caramelized in some sort of glaze. I like the idea of adding bourbon, I bet it would make the sweet potatoes taste even better!

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