4 pounds sweet potatoes
1 1/2 cups turkey or chicken stock
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 large fresh bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
3 to 4 cloves
Juice of 1 orange plus a few strips of rind
4 tablespoons butter
Several sprigs thyme
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
Juice of 1 orange
Optional garnishes: chopped candied pecans, chopped smoky bacon, chives
Place potatoes in a pot of cold water and bring to a boil. Salt water and cook potatoes to tender. Drain and return to hot pot.
Meanwhile, place stock, syrup, bay, cinnamon, cloves, orange juice and rind, butter, thyme and peppercorns in a small pot over medium-low heat.
Strain the stock and syrup into the sweet potatoes and mash. Adjust seasoning and serve with toppings candied nuts, bacon and/or chives, if desired.