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The Kitchn: This updated take on candied carrots will steal the show at your holiday dinner

Tara Holland, TheKitchn.com on

Candied carrots are a slightly elevated version of your standard steamed carrot side. In layman’s terms: It’s carrots cooked in syrup! Carrots are partially cooked and simmered in water and butter, then removed to boil the cooking liquid with more butter and brown sugar into a delicious, syrupy glaze.

In this recipe, the carrots are infused with bay leaves, ground ginger, and a touch of cinnamon. These three flavors marry together perfectly and bring an additional layer of flavor and warmth, making this dish a perfect accompaniment for the holidays. As this dish is only mildly spiced, it’s still versatile and can be eaten all year round, pairing well with most entrees.

However, if you’d prefer to keep the carrots in a simple butter and sugar glaze, just omit the ginger and cinnamon and season with freshly ground black pepper instead. The syrupy coating enhances the sweetness of the carrots and creates a stunning bejeweled sheen.

Can you make glazed carrots in advance?

This dish is relatively quick to make, making it a wonderful midweek side option. But what makes it especially great for the holidays is that you can make it the day before, which means you have one fewer thing to think about the day of your big feast. If you make it ahead, cook the carrots slightly under by a couple of minutes in both steps. Otherwise, the carrots may soften too much when reheating.

When ready to serve the carrots, either reheat in the microwave for 3 to 4 minutes on high in a covered dish, stirring halfway, or on the stovetop in a skillet over medium-high heat for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can loosen the glaze with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water, if needed.

 

Candied Carrots

Serves 6

2 pounds carrots

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

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