Continuing my proud tradition of making things that look like other things, I present cute candies that resemble potatoes...but do not contain potatoes. You can make them in less than 30 minutes, probably using ingredients you already have, thereby salvaging whatever sad St. Patrick's Day celebration you were planning.
I wanted to make these as soon as I saw the recipe on Joy the Baker, but my main objective was to create the above photo, starring my beloved leprechaun pins that have been with me since grade school. The little fellow on the right is my favorite (I have always liked his cheery disposition, lush beard, and those pants), but the one on the left has a personal connection.
Around three years ago, Jeff and I took a roadtrip to my hometown so he could meet my parents for the first time. I was justifiably over the moon with Jeff, and my parents were similarly charmed. Later I asked Mom what she thought of him, and she said, "He reminds me of a leprechaun!"
"The way he sits on the couch made me think of a leprechaun."
It took some time to crack Mom's code, but here's how Jeff is a leprechaun. A lot of times when he's on a a big couch, he'll pull up his legs and sit cross-legged, a.k.a. "Indian style," or "Native American style" if you prefer. In my mom's eyes, he is like a leprechaun (and not, more understandably, a Native American) because of this pin:
Most people would interpret the above pose as jaunty heel-clicking, but not Mom, who interprets it as the way Jeff sits on the couch, sort of, sometimes. Therefore, Mom views Jeff as a leprechaun thanks to a pin I've had since the mid-70s.
But really, this is nothing. Jeff's mom, upon meeting me for the first time, had this to say to Jeff later (and I should get this embroidered and made into a pillow because it's so great):
"She's so common!"
Norma meant that as a compliment, Jeff assured me as I stared into space, absolutely gobsmacked. I mean, people have called me a lot of things in the past, but common...?
Oh yeah, the recipe! This Irish potato candy is so common and will remind you of leprechauns!
- 1/4 cup (half a stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- 4 cups powdered sugar, plus more for rolling
- pinch of salt
- 8 oz unsweetened or sweetened coconut, toasted
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place coconut on an ungreased baking sheet and place coconut in the oven. Toast for about 4 to 6 minutes. Coconut toasts quickly, so keep an eye on it. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
In a large bowl, use a wooden spoon to combine softened butter and cream cheese. Blend in the honey, salt, and vanilla extract. Stir in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, stirring slowly so the powdered sugar doesn’t fly all over the counter. The mixture will be thick. Fold in the toasted coconut . Mixture will still be thick. Work it together.
In a small bowl, portion out about 1/3 cup powdered sugar. In another small bowl, whisk together cocoa and cinnamon. Dust hands lightly with powdered sugar. Roll about 2 teaspoons of candy dough into a small potato-shaped ball. Toss in cocoa and cinnamon mixture and place on a cookie sheet. Repeat until all the candy dough is rolled and tossed. Refrigerate for an hour, or until hardened enough to pack into little gift bags.
Candies will last, in the refrigerator, for up to one week.
Note: I omitted the cinnamon. I just don't like it with chocolate all that much.
And now, a gratuitous shot from our honeymoon in Ireland. I'll do a separate post about that soon, but the photo below is a favorite. We were driving through the center of the country, spotted a sign that said "EMO," and promptly took a photo of us being emo.
Yes, living with a woman that common is enough to make the color fly out of any man's hair. :)