Potato Candy

This confection comes from those clever people in Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) where its traditional appearance on St. Patrick’s Day is a sure sign of spring amidst the driven slush.

They’re simple and fun to make; get the kids to help. I added pecans to the mixture–somewhat of a habit, that–and  had to use chopped almonds for the eyes because I didn’t have any slivered. Pine nuts are nice, too.

Soften three tablespoons of butter and four ounces of cream cheese (I found it politic to use Philadelphia brand, and don’t use the low-fat), mix with a teaspoon pure vanilla extract, four cups confectioner’s sugar, two and a half cups of grated coconut and a cup of chopped pecans.

Chill mixture for about an hour or until very firm and form into irregularly-shaped balls. Dust your hands with powdered sugar to make it easier. Place these on a plate or a sheet pan in the refrigerator to firm up again, and roll in or dust with cocoa (nothing’s keeping you from using paprika). Stud the surface with nuts and store in the fridge until serving or freeze them for later.

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