Friday, March 13, 2015

Irish Potato Candies

There are two distinct food items I associate with St. Patrick's Day from growing up: Shamrock Shakes and Irish Potato Candies. 

While Shamrock Shakes have made their way to Texas (whew), many people don't know about Irish Potato candies. 

Being raised in the Philadelphia suburbs, and going to a Catholic schools named after the Irish saint himself, someone always brought a batch of these candies to school. They are incredibly easy to make, so I wanted to share this recipe for you to try over the weekend!

Irish Potato Candies

4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 c (1/2 a stick) butter, room temperature
2 c (about 1 16 oz bag) powdered sugar
1 tbsp vanilla (I prefer homemade, as its stronger)
2 1/2 c (about one 7.5 oz bag) sweetened, shredded coconut 
About 3 tbsp cinnamon

Beat the cream cheese and butter together (with a hand or stand mixture, either is fine). Add one cup of powdered sugar, continue to beat. Add vanilla, coconut, and, keeping back about 1 or 2 tablespoons, add the rest of the powdered sugar. Beat until creamy. Add the cinnamon to the powdered sugar you held back, mixing until its the color of potatoes. Roll the mixture in to oblong balls (the less perfect the better), then roll the balls in the cinnamon mixture. You can get really intricate and add nuts to represent the eyes on the potatoes, but I usually just stab the balls with a fork a bit to get some texture. Next refrigerate the "potatoes" until about 15-20 minutes before serving. I tend to like food closer to room temperature, as you can taste it more!

*it is okay if the potatoes look really white when going in the fridge; the butter and cream cheese absorb the powdered sugar and leave a nice,splotchy, potato color!

I hope you enjoy this Philadelphia favorite! Let me know if you make them and what your reaction is.

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