Old Fashioned Potato Candy for Christmas
Start a tradition with old fashioned potato candy
If you've never tried it, there's nothing out there like it. I take this delicacy to work every year and inevitably I'm met with curious looks from those haven't tried it yet. They give me a strange look as they take a piece, fully expecting to indulge in something truly disgusting...after all it's made from potatoes, how could it possibly be the sweet delicious treat of my claims.
Ah but after that first bite the quizzical look instantly disappears and I'm met with a smile. Now I'm not exactly certain if they are just relieved that I didn't give them what they fully expected to be the worst thing they ever tasted or if they have just discovered the sweet goodness of an all time favorite, but I'm going to believe it's the later.
Over the years I've done some experimenting with the recipe and found some ways to spruce it up a bit for Christmas. I'm going to share the original recipe with you and let you in on a few of my best additions to it as well.
The Orignal Recipe
Ok...I'm just gonna lay it out here. This recipe has been passed down through a number of Grandmas in my family so we're not talking exact measurements...it's something you get the 'feel' for. If you've ever cooked with a good cook things are done by feel rather than exact measurements but I'll make this as simple as possible.
- About three tablespoonfuls of mashed potatoes (some use a 1/2 a cup) you can use instant or homemade, but do your best to get all the lumps out.
- Start with a pound of confectioner's (powdered) sugar and keep another pound close by, you're probably going to need it.
- Peanut Butter
You'll also need some wax paper and a rolling pin to roll out the potato candy dough.
Get a large bowl and dump in your first box of confectioner's sugar. Add the mashed potatoes and begin to mix around. The first thing you'll notice and it's strange, is that the potato begins the melt the sugar and you notice liquid forming. That's ok, that's what you want to happen. It will begin to be difficult to mix with a spoon.
Use your hands to begin kneading the powdered sugar and mashed potato together. It's messy and you may want to enlist the help of a child....they love this stuff!
Once you've kneaded in the first pound, start on the second. Keep adding until the dough is stiff enough to form a large dough ball not too sticky, yet sticky enough to stay together as you roll it out. (Remember these are Grandma's instructions, not the galloping gourmet.)
Set aside a large piece of wax paper and dust with confectioner's sugar. Divide your dough ball into two pieces and begin to roll out your dough. You're going to want to get it pretty thin because you'll be rolling it into a log, but not so thin that it will split when you roll it. We're looking at about a 1/4 to 1/2 inch thin.
Next comes the peanut butter. Just spread a thin layer over the rolled out dough. Start at one edge and roll it up into a log.
Wrap the log in wax paper and put in the refrigerator for a couple hours to chill and follow the same steps with your second piece of dough. After your candy has chilled take it out of the fridge and cut into about 1/2 to one inch pieces. The candy will harden as it sits. The longer it sits uncovered the harder it gets, so you'll want to cover it with cellophane or keep it in a closed container if you aren't serving it with in the next few hours. I usually put it back in the refrigerator to keep it the right consistency.
It's really that simple and it's a great treat to make with children. They'll love being able to mix it with their hands, spread the peanut butter and roll it back up. What better way to spend time with your little darlings during the holidays.
My Awesome Spin on Grandma's Candy
I've taken Grandma's candy to new heights and I believe she would be quite proud. I happen to be quite the chocoholic and as you can see this candy is lacking a vital ingredient for me. For years I enjoyed it with a peanut butter center, even though I longed for some way to chocolate this desert up a little. Then I discovered Nutella. I won't even go into my love of Nutella here, but suffice it to say it is a little piece of heaven to me.
You may have already guessed it but I have substituted Nutella for peanut butter in my spin. You absolutely have to try this, it is a sweetness that is to die for. If you are one of those people who complain of rich deserts, turn the other way cause baby this one's the richest! We're talking basically solid sugar with chocolate spread right on top. I do try to limit myself to this treat to once a year...just so that 'to die for' statement doesn't come true.
One more adjustment. As I am kneading my dough I put in a couple drops of food coloring, not much because it will change the consistency of your dough. I put about 2 or 3 drops of red in one piece of the dough and 2 or 3 drops of green in the other. The more you knead it in the more it turns from a marble like design to a light green or red dough. The marble design is still slightly visible, but it looks really neat when you slice it.
Well there you have it Grandma's longtime tradition taken to a new level. I hope that you give this a try, if for nothing else but to see that look of fear on your friend's faces when you hand them a piece and say "It's potato candy...try some...really it's good". It's so worth it when they figure out that it IS good!