Friday, November 25, 2011

Sweet Potato Balls with homemade sweet potato orange syrup

I hope you all had a very wonderful Thanksgiving. Ours was great, and we are excited for more fun holiday times ahead as the season rolls along. Just a reminder that the Black Friday deals from Shelf Reliance started this morning, and last through the end of the day on the 28th. The prices are the lowest sale prices I've seen, so you really don't want to miss out. Freeze-dried food, shelving, cookbooks, and even consultant start up kits are on sale (if you have ever wanted to become a consultant, its the best time to do so!).  Food storage makes GREAT Christmas gifts, very practical and appreciated in this economy. So look over the Thanksgiving Sale Prices, and then contact me to get your order placed before the sale ends.

In honor of Thanksgiving, I thought I would share with you a recipe I created and took to our family gathering. Now, we had about 50 people there, so I made a pretty big batch. This will make about 35 sweet potato balls, so you may want to halve the recipe to fit your needs.

I started by using my THRIVE Sweet Potatoes. Remember, this item is being discontinued at the end of the year, so if you want some, let me know and we can get you stocked up.

So here's what you'll need to make the Sweet Potato Balls.

6 cups THRIVE Sweet Potatoes
12 cups water
1/2 cup melted butter
6 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
25 large marshmallows
2 1/2 cups crushed cornflakes
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
zest of 1/2 a medium orange
3 Tbsp melted butter

Bring 3 quarts (12 cups) of water to boil in a large pot. Once boiling, add 6 cups sweet potatoes. Return to a boil and cook about 15 minutes or until tender. Strain the potatoes out of the water, but do not discard the water. When I did this, I had 9-10 cups of cooked sweet potatoes, and about 1 3/4 cups of starchy sweet potato water.

To make the balls, either puree the potatoes in a blender/food processor, or whip them with a hand mixer. My blender died half way through the puree process (it's been on its deathbed for a while), so I had to finish up with the hand mixer in a large bowl. I still had a few small chunks, but that's fine. THRIVE makes the dices pretty small to begin with, so this part of the recipe is pretty forgiving.

In a large bowl, add 1/2 cup melted butter, 6 Tbsp brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp salt to the sweet potatoes and mix until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

Take your big marshmallows and tear them in half.

Take a scoop of sweet potato mixture and form it around the marshmallow piece to form a ball about 3" in diameter. Do your best to get the marshmallow as centered in the middle as you can, but don't stress about it. Just as long as the marshmallow is completely surrounded by potato filling.

Then you'll roll the ball in the crushed cornflakes and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. These won't melt or expand at all, so you can space them fairly close together. Repeat until all your balls are done. You should have about 35.  You'll notice there's about 15 marshmallow pieces left over. Fear not, it's all part of the plan!

Now, on to the syrup. Yum! Pour your starch water into a sauce pan (you should have about 1 3/4 cup of starch water).

Add 1/3 cup white sugar, 1/3 cup brown sugar and the orange zest. Mix well and turn on high heat. Once it starts boiling, you'll really need to stir it constantly for 15 minutes. The first 6-7 minutes of rapid boiling will look like you're just stirring lots of fast boiling orange bubbles.

But stick with it because around the 7-9 minute mark, the magic happens! It will start to thicken and darken into a lovely deep burnt orange colored syrup. You can reduce the heat a little at this point, but keep stirring for the full 15 minutes. Once its thickened, add 3 Tbsp of butter and stir until all melted and combined. (The butter improves the consistency for pouring over the balls).

Now you can spoon the warm syrup over the top of the balls. You should have enough syrup to cover about 20 of them. Bake in a preheated oven at 325 for 40 minutes. For the last 20 minutes, place the 15 marshmallow pieces on top of the 15 non-syrup covered balls and continue baking. When you're done you'll have a fun twist on an old classic Thanksgiving recipe, with a traditional topping as well as a more elegant topping, to please everyone in your crowd.

When these bake, the marshmallow melts and soaks up into the surrounding sweet potato, leaving a little bit of an empty cavity. If it's too close to the side, your ball may break open when baking and have some marshmallow ooze out, with some minor imploding. But have no fear. Like I said before, its a pretty forgiving recipe. When this happen to a few of mine, I just scooped it up with the spatula, pinched the two ends together, and it held its shape as a ball again.

Also, if you have little ones at home, consider saving aside some cooked sweet potato dices for soft finger foods that are bound to make your baby happy. They sure made a smile appear on my little Evan's face.

Remember, if you want to order sweet potatoes or any other item (like our Thanksgiving sale items!) just call me at 714-683-7562 or e-mail me at: Have a great holiday weekend!

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