A while back, I just so happened to mention that one of my favorite sides during Thanksgiving and Christmas is what we call "yam patties". They can also be called "sweet potato patties", but no matter what you call them, they're delicious! I was in shock when people started messaging me and calling me asking what in the world a yam patty was and where it comes from.

I remember even back in my single-digit years, my grandmother or great-uncle would bake these little frisbees of sweetness and serve them with pecans and marshmallows on top. I would literally make myself sick on those things and eat them until I would pop. Here I am almost 40 and still can't say no to a yam patty. As I sat in shock about the number of people in SWLA that didn't really know about a yam patty, so I decided to share some knowledge. While researching it, I also learned I am an idiot but we will get there in a minute.

For all intense and purposes, a yam or sweet potato patty is just that. It's a sweet potato or yam (there's a difference) that has been either cut or smooshed up into patty form. They're then frozen and sold in groups of 6 or 8 on a little tray. They're hard to find as you get closer and closer to the holidays. Dad usually buys 5 or 6 trays to make sure we have enough to get us through the holidays! You pop them out, let them thaw a little, and prep them for the oven.

You don't really have to "cook" the patties per se, you're just warming them up and getting the toppings all nice and happy on top. My childhood recipe is basically a slab of butter on top of each one with a heaping tablespoon of brown sugar on top followed by pecans. The butter and brown sugar combo candies the pecans as it covers each patty. During the last few minutes of baking, you throw the marshmallows on top to get toasty. There are a ton of different ways to make these, you can even get crazy and just cut up your own to make patties. I honestly never even thought of it, since I have always been so hyperfocused on the pre-made patties!

You can even cook them in the air fryer I have now learned. THAT is a game changer, my friends. If you've never tried them, I highly suggest giving them a shot. You won't regret it!


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