When I was little we had a neighbor that used to make these little candies and take them door to door wishing everyone a happy St. Paddy’s day. He would put them in a little white box tied with a bright green bow with a little card that had an Irish poem. He would sign the card, “Your friendly neighborhood Leprechaun.” Inside the box were these cute little candies made from cream cheese and coconut that looked just like little potatoes. We just loved his gift and looked forward to his visit every year. For years I thought Mr. Obrien was a real live Lepreprechaun!
Irish potato candy
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 1/2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
cinnamon, or sifted cocoa, for coating
With a mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the salt and vanilla and mix until combined.
Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Stir until mixture turns into a thick and sticky dough.
Stir in the coconut and place the dough in the refrigerator for about an hour to firm up.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and shape into small balls, about 1 inch in diameter. I make mine round but you can make them a little more oblong to look like a baking potato if you wish. Place them on a baking sheet and put them in the refrigerator to chill. About 15 minutes or so.
In a shallow bowl, place cinnamon or cocoa. I used cinnamon for mine. Roll the potatoes in the mixture to coat all over. Tap off any excess.
Place the candies back in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow them to “set” completely. After this, they can be kept in the refrigerator or at cool room temperature. Seal in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.