I have been perfecting this recipe for 25 years (maybe longer). I learned the basics from my grandmother and have added a few extra things along the way. I believe this is my best EVER! I hope you enjoy it too!
Your Choice, fresh sweet potatoes, peel, cut in pieces, boil until soft, drain (reserve 1 1/2 cups of the liquid) Add 1/3 cup molasses and 1/2 tsp salt to water when boiling. OR: Use two large cans sweet potatoes (yams), drain liquid and reserve 1 1/2 cups. Put one of the above types of prepared sweet potatoes in a casserole dish (previously sprayed with a cooking spray), SET ASIDE.
With the reserved liquid, add 2 tablespoons cornstarch (or flour) and whisk thoroughly to avoid any lumps, (I use a shaker), then, add to sauce pan along with all other ingredients, simmer approximately 15-20 min
pour all liquid ingredients from sauce pan over the top of the pre-cooked (or canned) sweet potato, distribute as evenly as possible, carefully and gently work into the potato spaces, (do not stir) bake for 30 minutes or until all liquid is bubbling around the potato
remove from oven, set on hot plate, distribute mini marshmellows all over the top, return to oven, broil, watching carefully, only until marshmellows are a golden tan.
*This can be made the day before, complete all steps except baking, save in the refrigerator, bake day to serve, put marshmellows on ONLY when dish has been heated and you are preparing to serve. You can also cook this dish in the microwave instead of the oven if you are tight for cooking space. Follow direction for your microwave to heat through to bubbly. Marshmellows must have oven to brown.