There’s something really powerful about preparing someone else’s recipes. Make your grandma’s chocolate cake, and you’ll get the feeling she’s right there in the kitchen with you. Take a bite of your mom’s apple pie, and you’re a little kid again. Last night, I made Vallie Bishop’s sweet potato balls. She’s a friend of my aunt’s, and I went to church with her as a child. I thought about her while I made this tasty side dish, and sent healing vibes her way as she deals with some health issues.
I love sweet potatoes, and last year I discovered instant sweet potato flakes in the grocery store. I was a skeptic, but when I tried them, I found them to be delicious! They taste just like you baked and mashed them yourself, and they already have the sweetness and spices right in the packets. They’re great just scooped onto your plate with a little butter and brown sugar on top, or baked in a casserole topped with marshmallows.
Here’s the recipe for Vallie’s sweet potato balls … then I’ll tell you how I cheated and made them the quick way!
3 cups mashed sweet potatoes
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. grated lemon rind
8 large marshmallows
1/2 cup crushed corn flake cereal.
Combine mashed potatoes, butter, sugar, milk, salt, and lemon rind. With a tablespoon, scoop out about 1/4 cup. Place marshmallow in the center and mold additional sweet potatoes around the marshmallow to form a ball. Roll in corn flakes. Place in a buttered baking dish and bake at 350 degrees F. for 20 minutes or until the marshmallows melt.
That’s how Vallie makes her sweet potato balls. All I did was prepare a box of instant mashed sweet potatoes. Coincidentally, one box makes 3 cups. I added a little brown sugar (maybe 1/3 cup) to the sweet potatoes, but didn’t need the salt, milk, butter, or lemon rind.
I had mini marshmallows on hand, so I decided to use them and make mini sweet potato balls instead of the larger version. I have a 1/4-cup ice cream scoop, which worked perfectly. I took a scoop of sweet potatoes, pushed a mini marshmallow into the center and filled in the hole with more sweet potatoes. Then I just squeezed the scoop and dropped the sweet potato ball into the crushed corn flakes, rolled it around, and placed it on a sprayed cookie sheet. I baked them as directed.
These little sweet potato balls were so delicious, and the marshmallow surprise inside makes them really special! The kids gobbled them right up, and the grown-ups loved them too. They were great alongside the pork chops I grilled last night, but they would also make a really good side dish to take to a Thanksgiving potluck.
Whether you mash your own baked sweet potatoes or use flakes from a box, give this recipe a try. You’ll love it!