Cook the Book: Sweet Potato Pralines

Cook the Book: Sweet Potato Pralines

[Photograph: Caroline Russock]

I have to be honest and say I didn't expect much when I came across the candy section of Lyniece North Talmadge's The Sweet Potato Lover's Cookbook. I mean, sweet potato candy? It sounded like something out of a health food store nightmare. But at the same time there was something intriguing about the possibility of vegetable candy, and I decided to give one of the recipes a go.

I suppose I was playing it safe when I chose these Sweet Potato Pralines since the recipe only includes a scant two tablespoons of sweet potato. The finished candy didn't end up tasting all that sweet potato-y at all, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Regardless of the lack sweet potato flavor, the pralines were pretty spot on—sugary sweet with a great crunch and tons of nutty pecan nibs.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of The Sweet Potato Lover's Cookbook to give away this week.

Adapted from The Sweet Potato Lover's Cookbook by Lyniece North Talmadge. Copyright © 2010. Published by Cumberland House. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

  • Yield:30 pieces


  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup margarine or butter
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons cooked, puréed sweet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda


  1. 1.

    Mix the buttermilk, butter, and sugar in a saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved. Add the pecans and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until a candy thermometer reads 239°F. Add the puréed sweet potatoes, vanilla, and baking soda. Stir rapidly until the mixture is thick and creamy. Drop immediately by tablespoon onto waxed paper that has been sprayed with nonstick vegetable spray. Allow to cool and set.