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

Tara Holland, on

2 fresh or dried bay leaves

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1 leafy carrot top, or 2 large sprigs fresh parsley (optional)

1/3 cup packed light or dark brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Peel 2 pounds carrots and cut on a diagonal into 1/2-inch thick pieces. Place in a large high-sided skillet. Add 3/4 cup water, 2 tablespoons of the unsalted butter, 2 bay leaves, and 1/4 teaspoon of the kosher salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the butter melts, about 3 minutes.


2. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, shaking the skillet occasionally, until the carrots start to soften at the edges, 5 to 8 minutes. Meanwhile, finely chop 1 leafy carrot top or the leaves from 2 large fresh parsley sprigs until you have 1 tablespoon if using.

3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the carrots to a plate. Add remaining the remaining 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1/3 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt to the pan. Stir to combine, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Cook until thick and syrupy, 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Return the carrots to the skillet and toss to coat. Reduce the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Garnish with the carrot tops or parsley if using.

Recipe notes: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to four days.

(Tara Holland is a contributor to, a nationally known blog for people who love food and home cooking. Submit any comments or questions to

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