Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Irish Potato Candy

Irish Potato Candy on Happy St. Patrick's Day Napkin

This cinnamon-coated coconut cream candy is a Philadelphia St. Pat’s tradition

Certain cities have iconic foods associated with them. Boston? Clam chowder and baked beans. New York? Thin-crust pizza and bagels.

How about Philadelphia? You may think Philly cheese steaks, hoagies, and soft pretzels. But Irish Potato Candy? Maybe you haven’t heard of this treat.

Irish Potato Candy is a traditional Philly confection that (despite its name) did not originate in Ireland. Nor does it contain potato. But the shape of these candies and their reddish-brown coating make them look like little round spuds—hence the name.

These candies may sound a bit odd, but wait until you bite into one of these diminutive darlings. Their flavor is no small potatoes.


Irish Potato Candy on black acrylic

Recipe: Irish Potato Candy

The first commercial version of this confection was brought to market as Oh Ryan’s Irish Potatoes over 100 years ago. The company releases a new batch each year around St. Patrick’s Day, so the name “Irish Potato” was a natural. Oh Ryan’s market is centered on the Philadelphia area, though their products are now sometimes available elsewhere in the US. You can also find them online, and See’s Candies offers a similar confection.

But why buy when you can make your own? They’ll be fresher, so they’ll taste great. And they won’t contain preservatives.

Mrs. Kitchen Riffs is the confectioner in our household. She adapted this recipe from one she found on Allrecipes.com.

It takes about 10 minutes to mix the filling for these candies. Then you need to chill the filling for 30 to 60 minutes. Add another 10 minutes or so for dipping the candies in cinnamon.

This recipe yields about 4 dozen pieces. They keep well for several days if stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

Ingredients
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 ounces (½ package) cream cheese (preferably full fat; we use the Philadelphia brand, although other brands should work—see Notes)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ~3 cups sweetened flaked coconut
  • 4½ cups confectioners' (powdered) sugar
  • ~3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
Procedure
  1. Place the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a medium-sized bowl if using a hand mixer). Beat at medium speed, scraping the sides of the bowl several times, until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add the vanilla extract and the flaked coconut. Continue beating until well mixed. 
  2. Add powdered sugar a cup at a time, mixing until well blended after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl to incorporate all ingredients. Beat until well mixed.
  3. Refrigerate the butter-and-coconut mixture for at least 30 minutes (an hour is better) so that it firms up. See Notes.
  4. Remove the butter-and-coconut mixture from the refrigerator. Form tablespoon-sized amounts of the mixture into balls (see Notes).
  5. Place the ground cinnamon in a plastic bag. Add the candy balls to the bag (two or three at a time) and shake to coat with cinnamon.
  6. Refrigerate the finished candies in an airtight container until ready to eat.
Irish Potato Candy on Happy St. Patrick's Day Napkin

Notes
  • The filling mixture for Irish Potato Candies is very soft when it’s first made, so chilling it is a must. We find it impossible to handle otherwise.
  • You can form these candies into any size you want, though we recommend using about tablespoon-sized amounts of filling (see Step 4). Because the candies are so rich, making them much larger may be a bit over-the-top.
  • That said, we find that a #60 disher (scoop) digs out just the right amount of coconut-cream mixture for each candy. (It’s called a #60 disher because the bowl is sized so that each scoop is about 9/16th of an ounce, or a little over 1 tablespoon. Thus, you’ll get 60 scoops per quart when you use this size disher.)
  • This recipe calls for cream cheese—another food that’s often associated with Philadelphia (there’s even a well-known brand called “Philadelphia” cream cheese).
  • In the US, cream cheese historically was made by small farmers. By the early 19th century, dairy farmers in the area of Philadelphia had gained a reputation for producing particularly good cream cheese. 
  • Until about 1873, cream cheese usually was produced in small batches. But that year a dairyman from Chester, New York managed to produce it in commercial quantities.
  • The “Philadelphia” brand name was the brainchild of Alvah L. Reynolds, a cheese distributor from New York who apparently saw an opportunity to profit from the city’s reputation for high-quality cream cheese.
  • Although Philadelphia-brand cream cheese works well in this recipe, other brands should work fine too. But we recommend staying away from low-fat versions of cream cheese—their taste just isn’t the same in this recipe.
  • You should use high quality (pure) vanilla extract in this recipe. Its flavor is so much better than the imitation kind.
  • Pure vanilla extract is made by soaking vanilla beans in a mixture of water and alcohol for several months. BTW, the FDA requires that pure vanilla extract contain at least 35% alcohol. If the label doesn’t say “pure,” that means it’s made from synthetic vanilla. The artificial kind is usually derived from the sapwood of several species of conifers—or from coal extracts. How appetizing (not).
  • The flavor of some imitation vanillas can be nasty. You don’t have to spend a fortune on pure vanilla extract, but getting decent quality does mean spending a bit more for something that’s not loaded with sugar or imitation flavoring. Do yourself a favor and get the real stuff.
  • If you store Irish Potato Candies for a few days, you may notice that the cinnamon coating begins to melt into the candies. No problem—just coat the candies with cinnamon again to freshen them up.
Irish Potato Candy on Happy St. Patrick's Day Napkin

A Philly Favorite

“Yum,” I said. “These Irish Potato Candies remind me of my childhood back in Philadelphia.” (My family lived there until I was about 11 years old.)

“Too bad you couldn’t find these after you moved to St Louis,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs.

“Yeah, I eventually forgot all about them,” I said. “Until we saw them in a local store a couple years ago.”

“I think we bought out their entire supply,” laughed Mrs K R. “But then I decided to make them myself, so I kept my eyes, um, peeled for a recipe.”

“I’m glad you did,” I said. “These are much better than the commercial ones. But that pun? Kinda half-baked.”

“That was pretty pomme de terre-ible,” said Mrs K R. “But these candies are no couch potatoes.”

If this keeps up, I’ll be Dublin over.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

You may also enjoy reading about:
Butter Cream Candy Easter Eggs
Coconut Kisses (Macaroons)
Irish Coffee
Irish Soda Bread
Corned Beef
Easy Corned Beef Hash
Colcannon
Braised Cabbage
Or check out the index for more recipes

166 comments:

  1. Good Morning John , when you came over my blogroll , I wanted to know what the heck was Irish Potato candy , knew St. Patrick's day was close , but what's up with the potato candy ;-D . I will have to make these and very soon , also Mrs. K R makes them seem so easy to make . To you and Mrs. K R have a safe and happy St. Patrick's Day , I will take a little nip for you and throw a coin in a bucket of water , I don't have a well , so the bucket will have to do ;-D thanks so much for sharing :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nee, aren't these fun? A lot of people have never heard of them, but if they like coconut, they'll be glad to discover these! Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  2. I've visited Philadelphia a few times and was shown around by people who have lived there their whole lives and they never introduced me to this candy. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Karen, you're right that this isn't one of the foods that everyone in Philly knows about. A year ago we had some friends over, and one of them grew up in Philly not all that far from where I did (and was about my age). He had ever heard of them either! Now he's making up for lost time. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  3. This made me think of another version by See's Candy, a divinity filling with chocolate and cinnamon "potato skin" outside -- http://www.sees.com/prod.cfm/st_patricks_day/st_patricks_day_potatoes

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mae, that's actually the same link I provided above (at the end of the first paragraph of the "recipe" section). I haven't tried them, but the concept is the same. Divinity filling though? Interesting, but I think prefer the original. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  4. Such a cute idea for a St. Patrick's day treat. Thanks for this recipe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Karen, isn't this nice? And really tasty! Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  5. I learn something new everyday! I never heard about this candy until today, so simple. I'm sure its quite delicious with the cream cheese and coconut. Never knew the Philadelphia cheese story either (honestly, didn't really think about it) but its always good to know such things! Thanks for a very enlightening post, John!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nazneen, this really is simple, and the flavor is incredible. Although I'm a coconut freak. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  6. I can't believe I've never heard of, or seen, these before. They're so cute!!! And talk about easy to make...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Pamela, you really should try these -- they're total fun. And really so good. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  7. I had never heard of this Candy, until I read about it here. Thank you for a delicious treat and a wonderful blog post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ansh, I'll bet most people haven't heard of this (and I know people who lived for ages in Philadelphia that haven't), but it's really worth getting to know. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  8. This is a new one on me! I really thought from the name that you had turned potatoes into a sweet candy of some sort. What a surprise to see what these really are. I'm sitting here trying to imagine the taste of this combination and having a very hard time. Looks like I might have to make them to find out for myself. :) Looking at the recipe it looks like an easy enough recipe to cut in half. Having 4 dozen pieces of candy in my house at one time is quite dangerous. :) Thank the Mrs. for this recipe!! I love it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi MJ, there actually are versions of this that used mashed potatoes, but they don't sound nearly as interesting to me as this -- we haven't tried them, because this is not only the standard version, it has the flavors I remember from my childhood. Definitely worth trying, and it's quite easy to cut the recipe in half. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  9. Okay, this is new to me. These sound pretty good to me, I will have to give them a try. Loved your potato humor, you made me laugh.

    M~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Madonna, glad you liked the potato humor! And if you try these, you'll like them -- they're wonderful. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  10. Oooh - some imitation vanilla flavorings sure do taste nasty!
    But I bet these Irish potato candies are delectable! I love the story behind the names of these candies!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Shashi, these really are delectable! And easy to make. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  11. These are so cute! I love this idea. Just last night I was thinking about Irish desserts. I know my husband always loves anything coconut and I am in the mood for cheese cake. These could take care of both of us. Not to mention that cinnamon is always a hit in our house. I did I mention the cute factor?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rocquie, this sounds like something both of you would dig! (Sorry) And they are awfully cute. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  12. This is a new one on me John! The only Irish Potato Candy I have ever heard of actually included potatoes and was more of a fondant than a candy. If I remember correctly, the ingredients were pretty much the same except, rather than the cream cheese a potato was used. Don't quote me on it:) Now I will have to find out for sure, lol...That said, Mrs. K.R. has whipped up a batch of yummy goodness and we sure do appreciate it. I wouldn't mind sampling one right now. There's no way I'm heading for Philadelphia in this weather! Thank you both so much for sharing...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Louise, Mrs K R did find a couple of recipes that used potatoes, but thought this one was tastier (plus much more like the Oh Ryan's that I consumed as a tad). These really a worth making. And will save you that trip to Philly! Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
    2. Oh I'm definitely sold on Mrs. K. R.'s version, John. I showed your post to Marion (huge mistake, lol:) and she wants this version!

      Delete
    3. Hi Louise, didn't mean to imply you weren't sold on it! Now that Marion has seen these, I guess you don't have a choice. :D

      Delete
    4. Happy St. Patrick's Day to You and Mrs. K.R! Stay safe and...warm:)

      Delete
    5. Hi Louise, Happy St. Pat's to you and Marion! Have a great day. :-)

      Delete
  13. Such nice photos and delicious potato treats...Happy St. Patrick's Day, John!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Denise, isn't this a great recipe? So perfect for St. Pat's! Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  14. Hi John,

    Happy St Patrick's Day! I know potato is Irish food but didn't know that there is no potatoes at all in these potato looking treats :D They look wonderful.

    Zoe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Zoe, there are all pure sweet goodness -- no potatoes. ;-) They just look kinda sorta like potatoes! Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  15. I've never seen this before John - I love it. I can't wait to make these, my family will snorf them down. Great recipe and fabulous photo!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Vicki, these are really addictive little things -- you and your family will love them. They're really good, and dangerously easy to make! Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  16. I have to say I never liked the store-bought ones as a kid. But these home-made ones might just change my mind about a candy made to look like a potato. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Carolyn, when I tasted the store-bought ones again a few years ago, I enjoyed the nostalgic flavor.But they weren't as wonderful as I remember them being as a kid (the flavor was most definitely the same, though; I was different, not the candies). These? Wonderful! If you like coconut, they're definitely worth a try. Better than the original, IMO. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  17. This sounds wonderful!! Love the easy ingredients, too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ashley, I'm all for easy! And flavor, of course. These deliver both, thank goodness. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  18. What an awesome candy, it looks super addictive :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Uru, this really is addictive! Not chocolate, but worth checking out. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  19. Why buy when you can make your own?!!! I love that :) those are really darlings to me. I love love love anything coconut. Very easy recipe and I bet tastes great.... Do you have anything for Colorado? I mean a special dish?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Amira, don't know of any foods that are uniquely famous to Colorado -- sorry about that. So you'll have to make some of these as consolation -- they're awfully good consolation! ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  20. I've never heard of these and I was kind of hoping they contained potatoes. Lol. I still haven't given a thought to St. Pat's, I think I need to get on it. Maybe if I had one of these truffles it would help. Hope you are still surviving the time change.
    -Gina-

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Gina, maybe we should work on a potato-based version of these! It'd be a lot of fun. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  21. Love the puns! I have never heard of these nor have I ever seen them but from my end of the screen they certainly look like potatoes. I would love to try these. They're quite similar to something I make at Christmas but with chocolate rather than cinnamon. I didn't know the history of Philadelphia cream cheese. I also only buy pure vanilla extract. It is more expensive but the artificial stuff is vile xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Charlie, these really are fun. Essentially these are just butter cream candies, which usually are coated in chocolate. Substitute coconut cream and cinnamon, and that's it. So I'll bet they are similar to what you make for Christmas. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  22. How very interesting, John! Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lizzy, isn't this fun? Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  23. What a fabulous treat! So addictive. At first I thought they were marzipan potatoes...

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rosa, oooh, marzipan potatoes! I'll have to suggest that to Mrs K R! Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  24. We made potato candy in Maine but nothing like this. I'm so eager to give this a try, it looks terrific!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Maureen, this really is terrific -- I think you'll enjoy. Would love to try your potato candy recipe! Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  25. Pomme de terre-ible? I believe that is the pun which cannot be topped. Thanks for my morning laugh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Beth, isn't that awful? I wish I could take credit for it, but I can't: I heard that pun years ago, though I've forgotten where or when. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  26. At first, I thought that these look like white chocolate truffles, but the name proved me wrong, but they're not made from potatoes - haha. Anyhow, these cream/coconut balls look so delectable - love all the ingredients in them. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Padaek, they do look a lot like chocolate truffles! And just as good. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  27. okay, so these are adorable, and i've never seen or heard of them before. They sound delicious! With all the St. Pat's festivities that go on around here, you'd think they would be a little more prevalent. Love that they look just like potatoes. I'm pinning this one for future use, for sure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Shannon, this is really a goodie. Anyone who likes coconut will like these. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  28. Wow! I rarely come across anything in the way of food that I haven't at least *heard* of before! These sound great and are going on my to-do list!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jean, these aren't known as well as they should be, IMO. Definitely worth a try. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  29. You've taught me something new again, John. I've never been to Philadelphia and have never seen these candies. Even so, I'm more likely to make them than most candy recipes I come across. I make cream cheese and am often looking for ways to use it raw. For some reason, it "breaks" when heated. These little guys will be a perfect way to use up the cream cheese and make gifts, too. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi John, these are really a fun and easy candy to make, and the flavor payoff is huge (at least to anyone who likes coconut; and I'm that someone!). I'll bet these would be wonderful with your homemade cream cheese. And these are definitely gift-worthy -- we always give some away so we don't eat them all! Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  30. John, I like Mrs. KR's style! Your reasoning for making them at home is spot on. Moreover, you've provided terrific detailed notes, and a fun, whimsical presentation. One question: Is the coconut measure the sweetened flaked variety, or non-sweetened?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Brooks, the flaked coconut is sweetened; and I just noted that in the ingredient's list (thanks for the prompt!). This is a fun recipe -- perfect for any coconut fiend. Which would be me. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  31. I have heard of Irish potato candy but didn't really know what it was. I think I would really enjoy these. I love making candy so thanks for the recipe!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Laura, I think these are just the sort of thing you'd like. And they're so fun to make! Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  32. I love anything coconut. There are a lot of us out there who march in that parade. This is easy, but it will look I really did something BIG. I love that. Where you really get the points
    is for the lame pun---half baked. I am a big fan of lame puns. In fact I am laughing just typing this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Carol, yeah, that coconut parade is pretty big, isn't it? I'm a charter member! Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  33. Such an incredibly interesting looking candies. I have never heard of them. What an interesting post John! Perfect to munch on while seeing the parade.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Minnie, these are really great. And these are great little treats! Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  34. This goodies placed in front of me. . . I'm not sure how many I will eat or will I stop eating. Coconut and cinnamon -- great combination. Thanks. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ray, these are pretty hard to resist. Ask me how I know! ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  35. There's a cake I've made before that actually is made with potatoes. I was quite sure this was going to be similar. But boy was I wrong. Loos terrific and worth a taste. GREG

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Greg, we really do need to look into making these with potatoes. These are so good it's hard to even consider another recipe, but experimenting is science, and science is good, right? ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  36. Looks so yum! Want to try it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Asmita, I think you'd really like this. Enjoy! Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  37. Now I have never seen these before? What a great treat, I figured out the ingredients for the cream are sort of similar to the frosting on my carrot cake.. plus the coconut would be fantastic. Thanks for sharing this one!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Barb, aren't these great? This is a real treat for anyone who likes coconut. Which would be me. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  38. These candies do look like little potatoes! In reality, it's just coconut cream candy rolled in cinnamon - how cool is that! I've never had those before!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Julia, these are indeed nothing but coconut creams, although the cinnamon coating is a bit of a twist. Pretty neat, though. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  39. Oh how cute are these! Such a fun recipe and great way to fool people. I love coconut and cinnamon, these would be a hit here. Thanks for sharing, John!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nancy, if you love coconut and cinnamon, you definitely have to make these -- they're wonderful! Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  40. As usual I forgot to make something for st Patricks day but I would have loved to grow up with these darlings. I'm a coconut fan and this just sounds and looks perfect!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Simone, these are really a nice candy -- worth trying sometime, particularly since you like coconut. Really wonderful flavor! Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  41. What a perfect treat for St Patricks Day! ...and no I have never heard of these before but they do sound delicious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Julie, aren't these fun? Look cute and so, so flavorful! Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  42. Ha ha! I thought they were sweets then I saw the inside and I faltered and thought they were potatoes. I am glad they were sweets. Great ingredients.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Suzanne, these really are nifty, aren't they? Little bundles of flavor joy. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  43. How cute are these! I often remark that I think in coconut, being such a South Indian girl and all, but oddly never with the pairing of coconut + sweetness. Need some green chillies in there somehow. These "diminutive darlings" may just change my mind. And even if they don't: hey, at least those green chilli colors still work just fine for St. Paddy's day now don't they!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Deepa, green chilies are a fun idea! And you're right the green chile colors would work so well for St. Pat's! Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  44. What a fun idea for St. Patrick's Day. I'm the only one in the family that likes coconut. All the better. That means I can eat the whole batch myself!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kristi, you'll be wanting to give some of these away, because trust me, much as you won't want to, you will eat the whole batch! Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  45. I have never eaten it before.. but I am sure is delicious. I love coconut stuffing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Candy, coconut is one of my favorites too (right after lemon). Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  46. Wow! Never heard of these candies, but now I want to. I love coconut and add cream cheese and I'm in! They look absolutely delicious! Great post, John!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bill, you'll love these. They're seriously good. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  47. I could eat a whole box of these sweet potatoes with coconut cream.
    The story behind this traditional sweets is very interesting, I'm learning a lot about American culinary history through your blog John.
    Thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Daniela, it's way too easy to eat the whole batch at one sitting! Upside, though, is you can make a second and eat it more leisurely. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  48. With cream cheese and coconut, how could these be bad???? Sound fabulous to me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Liz, these really are fabulous. Definitely your cup of tea, IMO. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  49. I got totally tricked by the name! I thought it was Irish and it includes potatoes (I was like what, potato candy? I want some!). Love the coconuts though. I enjoy coconut very much but my family is not a big fan.... why!!! I can eat the entire batch myself!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nami, we really do need to do an actual potato version of these, but trust me, this recipe is better. ;-) And yes, even though you think you really couldn't,you absolutely could eat the batch by yourself! Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  50. This is so funny because I just spotted these last week and now you have them! What I didn't know was that they originated in Philly. Will have to ask Zoe if she's seen them! So fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Abbe, I'd be interested to hear if Zoe knows of these -- a fair number of Philly folk are oblivious to these (shame on them!). I'll bet the manservant would like these. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  51. i have never ever heard of this and it sounds wonderful. Wish I had some for dessert after my corned beef tonight.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lea Ann, this is a really fun (and easy!) dessert. Snack. Whatever! Really worth making sometime. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  52. These are so fun John. I'm a little embarrassed to admit I've never heard of them till this past week. I've seen them on several websites - I'm so intrigued. I love culinary traditions like this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Chris, isn't this great? So tasty and so worth making. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  53. Oh my! What a great candy, and what an informative article. Thank for the introduction. I have never heard of this confection before, but I adore coconut, so I think this one is for me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Adri, since you adore coconut, this really is for you! You'll love this. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  54. This candy sound yummy. I am a big fan of coconut, so I am sure I would love this recipe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Dawn, this really is great stuff. And since you like coconut, this recipe has your number. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  55. Wow I've never heard of this! They look addictive especially with that cinnamon coating :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lilli, these really are addictive. Which is why we make them only once a year. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  56. How cute are these little spuds! I wish that I'd seen your post earlier because I would have made them and taken them to the St. Pat's party I went to yesterday. I'll bookmark it and take it next year. Better yet, I'll put it on Pinterest where I'll be able to find it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mireya, aren't these swell spuds? You definitely should think about making these next year! Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  57. Irish Potato Candy is such a favorite, I made a recipe last year and I meant to update it... but it never happened. Which might be a good thing because I can eat so many of these!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Pamela, these are really neat, aren't they? So tasty! Dangerously so. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  58. Ummmm....you totally had me at candy! I have never heard of this delicious recipe. I love how fluffy the center looks, and the ingredients are a perfect combination of happiness!! Yum, Hugs, Terra

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Terra, who can resist homemade candy? Certainly not me, particularly when we're talking Irish Potato Candy! Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  59. Dear John,

    I have never heard of this candy before until today but it looks extremely enticing especially with the cream cheese as I love savoury stuff.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Chopinand, it's great candy! And pretty sweet, despite the cream cheese. Definitely good stuff, though. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  60. Happy St. Patty's Day John! These look like the kind of candy its hard to stop after just one. Soft and chewy and addicting. I don' think I would have to worry about having left overs and re-dipping them into the cinnamon. I bet they would be gone in 5 minutes of putting them on the table. Have a super day! BAM

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bam, with your teenagers, 5 minutes is probably pretty accurate! Save one or two for yourself, though. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  61. Happy St. Patricks day! I have to say, I've raised an eyebrow when I read potato and candy in one title, but I get where it's coming from. Would love to taste them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Gintare, yeah, one doesn't usually think of a potato candy! These taste so great, and of course look so cute. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  62. I grew up in Philadelphia and know these all too well! I didn't realize they were regional until I moved away. Fun post :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Alyssa, you've had these at the source too! One of my favorite childhood memories. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  63. Ryan's family is from Philly. I'll have to ask him if he recognizes these! They look delicious! Would love to try them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Monet, if Ryan remembers these, you'll totally have to make them! He'll swoon! Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  64. First time I heard about this one, looks delicious. Happy St. Patricks Day

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Raymund, this is such a fun dish! I love it! Happy St. Pat's, and thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  65. Oh wow - what a unique and trendy treat :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi CJ, isn't this cool? A lot of fun both to make and eat! Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  66. These sound absolutely divine!!! thanks for sharing them and also the info.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi easyfoodsmith, these really are a fun treat! We loved making them -- and eating them! Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  67. Wow, they really do look like potatoes!! What an awesome invention! Thanks for sharing the history and the recipe John, I definitely want to give them a go (despite missing the boat for St Pat's day this year... oh well, I guess it won't hurt to 'practice' a bit before next year!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Laura, aren't these cute? And practice makes perfect you know, so you can't practice enough. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  68. They really looks like baby potatoes :) Loved the goodness that is hiding inside the brown cinnamon coating!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Shibi, don't these look like potatoes? So much fun! Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  69. Hi John - I love the idea of these candies. I've never heard of them before, but the flavor combinations sounds really tasty. Thanks for another wonderful inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Donalyn, these really are tasty. So, so worth making. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  70. I have never ever heard of these but I may make them at Christmas (that is the only time I make candies). Homemade vanilla is easily done with beans and vodka. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Debra, you're smart to make candies only once a year! And you're right that homemade vanilla is easy to do -- should really put that on the blog someday. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  71. These are totally new to me, John! What a great recipe. Very interesting and different.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Amy, these are a bit different, aren't they? But totally tasty! Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  72. I never heard of Irish potato...they sure sound and look yum! Cream cheese, coconut and cinnamon, I just can imagine how tasty these treat are...yum!
    Have a wonderful week John :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Juliana, if you like coconut, you'll like this! Really good stuff. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  73. When I read the title, I really thought this is a candy made of potatoes! It looks yummy and it does look like potato...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Peachy, they're deceptive looking, aren't they! Really good. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  74. Love your banter with Mrs K R, John! This is a brand new treat for me - I haven't heard of Irish Potato Candy before but already know I'd devour quite a few. Hope you had a fun St Patty's Day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Hannah, those endings are always fun to write! And this candy is even more fun to eat -- so good. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  75. "Their flavor is no small potatoes"...bahahaha!! That's my kind of silly humor :-) These sound really interesting and quite delicious. I've had donuts made from potatoes before so I can see how these would be really "sweet" (see what I did there? ha!). Okay, I'm going to quit while I still have some dignity left!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kristy, these really are great. And I lost my dignity so long ago, and don't even know what it is any more! Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  76. Woah I've never heard of these! Definitely thought they were some kind of sweetened potato balls on first glance :) Sounds delicious though, and certainly a nice belated St. Patrick's Day treat (shamefully I completely forgot to celebrate this year).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Irina, these are so worth having. Probably you need to practice often so you'll have these perfected by St. Pat's next year. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  77. You always come up with dishes whos names have little to do with the actual ingredients in the recipes. I think it's fun! I wonder if one could use fresh scraped coconut in the recipe. I know people would love the treats here, it comes close to what they know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Helene, I'd think fresh coconut would work quite well in this dish! You may want to add a bit more sugar than the recipe calls for in that case since the coconut won't be sweetened. Or not -- this is already pretty sweet. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  78. Yummo, they really do look like spuds, they are brilliant. I bet super yummy too.. Happy late St Pats Day

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lizzie, aren't these fun? Really a super flavor. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  79. thanks so very much for sharing this wonderful recipe...they came out perfect the very first time even though we are a bit amateur in candy making....they tasted awesome....HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY!!! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kumar, aren't these great? Glad you enjoyed them! Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  80. I love the recipes and the puns. So hilarious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HI Kim, isn't this recipe great? I'm not so sure about the puns, but Mrs KR and I certainly amused ourselves with them! ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete
  81. Holy Tap dancing Jesus! Never heard of a Potato Candy nor tried one ever! Thanks a bunch for introducing me to this adorable thingy... how cute they look! Cinnamon coated coconut cream candy is named as 'Potato Candy'? Interestingly Irish :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Nusrat, aren't these fun? And they really do look like little potatoes! But taste much, much better. ;-) Thanks for the comment.

      Delete