We adapted this recipe from How America Eats (Scribner, 1960). Author and American food pioneer Clementine Paddleford first ate these onions in East Hampton at a Thanksgiving feast she described as being “as typical of Long Island as the breath of fog in the face, or an Island field of potatoes.”

Mrs. Dayton’s Glazed Onions Mrs. Dayton’s Glazed Onions
These sweet onions are the perfect accompaniment to the traditional Thanksgiving feast.
Yield: serves 6-8


  • Salt
  • 4 lb. small white onions (unpeeled)
  • 12 cup sugar
  • 8 tbsp. butter, cut into pieces
  • 1-2 sprigs fresh parsley


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat, then add 2 generous pinches salt. Add onions and cook until soft when pierced, 15–20 minutes. Drain onions in a colander and set aside until cool enough to handle. Peel onions by trimming root ends and slipping them out of their skins, then transfer to a large heatproof baking dish, spreading onions out in a single even layer.
  2. Preheat broiler. Put sugar and 2⁄3 cup water into a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, cover pot, and boil, swirling pan over heat several times, until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Add butter and 1 tsp. salt and heat, swirling pan occasionally, until butter melts, about 5 minutes more.
  3. Pour sugar–butter mixture over onions and broil, basting and turning onions frequently, until onions brown and syrup turns pale golden, 20–30 minutes. Transfer onions and syrup to a warm serving dish and garnish with parsley sprigs.