Our foodie-oenophile-photographer-blogger friend Carrie Clark (aka @camerachickie on Twitter) recently asked a question we found very intriguing: Which flavor of Plush Puffs Gourmet Marshmallows would taste best on the traditional Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole?
Since we have two new flavors this season, Gingerbread Spice and Pumpkin Pie, we honestly couldn’t answer the question. So, we conducted an experiment to answer this puzzle.
We focused on trying 4 different seasonal flavors: Pumpkin Pie, Gingerbread Spice, Sydney’s Cinnamon and Caramel Swirl. We made the sweet potatoes per a typical recipe (with brown sugar, butter, orange juice, cinnamon, and a little nutmeg). Nothing fancy, so use your favorite recipe.
A confession: I, your humble Plush Puffs blogger, am terrible at making mashed potatoes, sweet or otherwise. What are your tricks for creamy, non-lumpy mashed potatoes? I think part of my problem is an inferior masher, but I can’t blame it all on a bad tool.
Because we wanted to try 4 different marshmallow toppings, I spooned the sweet potatoes while they were still warm into 4 1/2 inch diameter ramekins and I topped each with a different flavor of marshmallow. For each ramekin, I used 7 marshmallows.
I baked them in an oven at 375 in for just a few minutes to get the marshmallows melting a bit. Then I turned the broiler on to brown the tops. DO NOT WALK AWAY while you’re melting or browning the marshmallows. This happens fast! If you leave them the marshmallows could burn or over melt. This is literally the last thing you do before serving Thanksgiving dinner. It just takes a few minutes.
They came out golden brown and yummy looking (hey look! I have a hot spot on my broiler!).
3 of us tasted each flavor and independently came up with our preferences before we compared notes – so it’s scientific and stuff. The findings were unanimous! Here’s how we rank them in order:
#1 Gingerbread: Wow, was this good. It tasted exactly like Thanksgiving should. The gingerbread spices enhanced the cinnamon & nutmeg in the sweet potatoes and ginger and sweet potatoes are a fantastic flavor combination. A real improvement over plain marshmallows and everyone went back for seconds.
#2 Cinnamon: Also tasted very Thanksgiving-y and obviously married well with the cinnamon in the potatoes. Gingerbread edges it out because of its mix of spices, but Sydney’s Cinnamon was a close 2nd.
#3 Caramel: I was surprised this wasn’t my #1 because Caramel Swirl is my perennial favorite flavor of Plush Puffs. And the caramel flavor really came through, which makes you notice the butter in the sweet potatoes more. However, the caramel made them seem extra sweet which would be great if this were a dessert and not a side dish. Caramel would make a great pumpkin pie topping (hmm, I sense another experiment in the works)
#4 Pumpkin Pie: Another surprise. I thought the similarities in the flavors of pumpkin and sweet potato would make this the best flavor, but in fact, the similarities made the pumpkin flavor get lost on the sweet potatoes. So the Pumpkin Pie Plush Puffs, while amazing on their own or toasted on top of ice cream, do not enhance the dish as much as the other flavors do.
So, there you go! Our recommendation for your ultimate Thanksgiving dinner side dish is SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE MADE WITH GINGERBREAD SPICE PLUSH PUFFS GOURMET MARSHMALLOWS!