Irish Potatoes (Candy)

Irish potato candy is a traditional Philadelphia confection that, despite its name, is not from Ireland, and this version does not contain any potato. The candies have a coconut cream inside and are rolled in cinnamon on the outside, resulting in an appearance reminiscent of tiny, freshly dug potatoes.

The “potatoes” are about the size of a large marble and are especially popular around St. Patrick’s Day. Although they are Philly-based, they are available in many areas and are made commercially by Oh Ryan’s of Boothwyn, Pennsylvania, who claims to be the largest distributor of Irish Potatoes, shipping about 80,000 pounds to major chains and smaller candy stores, mostly in the Philadelphia area. See’s Candies, based in South San Francisco, also makes a version.  

You will often find these candies featured as a seasonal product in the Philly area and elsewhere in Eastern Pa (and beyond) in supermarkets and candy shops. It is super simple to make your own with a few ingredient!

Rarely does a St Paddy’s Day go by that a container of these are not in my refrigerator. Be aware – they are addicting!

Irish Potatoes (Candy)

Recipe by A Coalcracker in the KitchenCourse: Candy, Snacks, Dessert, Coal Region, Pa. DutchCuisine: Coal RegionDifficulty: Easy

Irish potato candy is a traditional Philadelphia confection that, despite its name, is not from Ireland, and this version does not contain any potato. The candies have a coconut cream inside and are rolled in cinnamon on the outside, resulting in an appearance reminiscent of tiny, freshly dug potatoes.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup salted butter, softened

  • 4 ounces (1/2 – 8 ounce package) full fat cream cheese

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted to remove lumps

  • 2 and 1/2 cups flaked sweetened coconut

  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon or as needed

Directions

  • In a medium bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth.
  • Add the vanilla and confectioners’ sugar; beat until smooth.
  • Using your hands if necessary, mix in the coconut. Roll into one or two bite sized balls then slightly elongate the ball into a potato shape.
  • Roll in the cinnamon.
  • Place onto a cookie sheet and chill. Store in refrigerator tightly covered

Notes

  • You can substitute cocoa for the cinnamon if you prefer (especially if you do not like the “bite” of cinnamon), or use a mix of both to your taste.

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