Best Irish Potato Candy recipe

Best Irish Potato Candy recipe

If you’re not from the Philadelphia area, you might be thinking: I don’t want a potato in my candy! Don’t worry, this treat only looks cute potatoes, and actually contains no spuds at all. Imagine the texture of one chocolate truffle but instead with cream cheese, coconut and vanilla. The outside is coated in the ground cinnamongiving it an uncanny resemblance to the real thing.

Not to be confused with the potato candy of the American South, the full origin story of Irish potato candy is uncertain. It was almost certainly invented in the late 1800s or early 1900s in Philadelphia, but otherwise it’s a bit of a mystery. Was it created by Irish immigrants, or were candy makers simply inspired by the influx of them to America? Did Philadelphia cream cheese play a part, or is that just a coincidental part of the lore? Were they made for St. Patrick’s Day in response to the candy break between Valentine’s Day and Easter? We may never know.

What we do know is that they couldn’t be easier to make. Simply whisk together all ingredients except cinnamon, then let the dough cool to help it set. Once the mixture has cooled, roll 1 tablespoon balls of it in ground cinnamon and then shape them into cute little potatoes, making little dimples in the sides with your fingers to make them look extra realistic. You may notice that after a while they become too soft to handle. If that happens, just put them back in the fridge for a while until they harden.

We think these would be cute on a dessert spread before St Patrick’s Day. Hot tip: Since there’s no baking involved, this is an ideal project to do with kids – they really get a kick out of making people think they’re eating a mini potato.

Did you grow up with this? Have you ever made them from scratch? Let us know in the comments below.