Irish Potatoes (Buttercream Candies)

Irish Potato Candy - Bacon is the Way to Happiness
Irish Potato Candy – Bacon is the Way to Happiness

 

Homemade things just taste better, don’t they? They have a wonderfully fresh taste and have a whole lot of love in them! And homemade candy is just like. Awesome. Like really friggin’ awesome. It takes what’s special about homemade food to a whole new level. Like a whole new sweet level.

Once Valentine’s Day comes to a close, stores in the Philadelphia region begin filling their shelves with Irish Potatoes in preparation for St. Patrick’s Day. And, no, not the starchy vegetable– but, a cinnamon coated candy with a buttercream-coconut type filling.This is not a treat that hails from the Emerald Isle. And, despite its name, contains no potatoes in the ingredient list. Yet, somehow, for many, this has become synonymous with celebrating the feast of St. Patrick, along with corned beef, Guinness, Irish soda bread, and cabbage.

And let me tell you, these treats are fun and yummy. And what I think makes this recipe really tick is pulverizing the shredded coconut in a food processor. It enables you that hint of coconut flavor and texture, without overpowering the recipe.

Go on, why don’t you give these bad boys a try for St. Patrick’s Day?

Irish Potato Candy - Bacon is the Way to Happiness
Irish Potato Candy – Bacon is the Way to Happiness

Irish Potatoes (Buttercream candies)
Yields: Approximately 3 dozen candies
Time: About an hour

Ingredients
1/2 cup salted butter, softened
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
16 oz. powdered sugar, sifted
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
3-4 TBS cinnamon

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, pulse the shredded coconut until it’s in teeny, tiny pieces. Set aside.
  2. Using a hand mixer, and the largest bowl you can find (trust me, I went medium bowl, and quickly realized I needed a large bowl, since I was wearing butter and cream cheese!), mix together the butter and cream cheese until well-combined. Add the vanilla and mix for a few seconds.
  3. Slowly add the powdered sugar (about a half a cup at a time) while mixing on medium. Continue adding by the 1/2 cup until all the sugar is added. Mix until well combined.
  4. Stir in the coconut by hand, until well combined.
  5. Place the cinnamon into a shallow bowl. Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop out approximately in between a teaspoon and a tablespoon of the filling mixture. Roll into a ball and roll around in the cinnamon, be sure to shake off excess cinnamon.
  6. I like to lightly drop the candies on a few sides on a cutting board to remove even more excess cinnamon (I like mine lightly coated!)
  7. Place into the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to allow the candies to set.
  8. Serve immediately and enjoy!

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