Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Irish Potatoes are the perfect dessert to go with your St. Patrick’s Day dinner.
Irish potato candy is a traditional Philadelphia confection that, despite its name, is not from Ireland, and does not usually contain any potato. The candies have a coconut cream inside (generally made from some blend of coconut, confectioner’s sugar, vanilla, and cream or cream cheese) and are rolled in cinnamon on the outside, resulting in an appearance reminiscent of small potatoes. The treats are about the size of a large marble and are especially popular around St. Patrick’s Day.
Oh Ryan’s of Boothwyn, Pennsylvania, claims to be the largest distributor of Irish Potatoes, shipping about 80,000 pounds to major chains and smaller candy stores, mostly in the Philadelphia area.See’s Candies, based in South San Francisco, also makes a version composed of a divinity and English walnut interior dusted with cocoa and using pine nuts as potato “eyes.” The potatoes are showcased as a seasonal product by Philadelphia-area supermarkets.
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened (1/2 package)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
- 1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter, cream cheese and vanilla.
- Slowly add powdered sugar and continue mixing to incorporate – scraping sides when necessary.
- Add coconut and continue to mix until combined.
- Roll mixture into tablespoon-size balls.
- Roll each piece cinnamon to coat.
- Once coated, roll candies into a potato shape – if desired.
- Set on a parchment or foil lined cookie sheet and chill until set.
- Store candies in refrigerator until ready to serve.