St. Patrick's Day is just a few days away. What's for dessert? The answer is Irish Potatoes that aren't potatoes and are easy to make.
If you're like me and planning meal ideas for St. Patrick's Day you might have all you need for everything but dessert.
Irish Soda Bread is yummy but you're craving something sweeter. Some favorite recipes for Irish Soda Bread and local baking contests can be found, here.
Corned beef might be on the menu for your entree, but the taste of the heavy brine needs something to counterbalance it.
Enter Irish Potatoes.
Some history first. The dessert sweets did not travel across the sea from Ireland.
They are most associated with the city of Philadelphia and have been around for more than a century.
Because the Irish embraced the potato as a staple like few others, their history and that of Ireland cannot be told without reference to the Irish Potato Famine of 1845-49, caused by a blight on the crops.
The Encyclopedia Britannica calls it the most severe famine of the 19th century. It resulted in the death of upwards of three-quarters of a million people. Some estimates put the number of Irish people who uprooted their families and left Ireland behind in the range of 1 to 2 million.
Because the St. Patrick's Day sweet treat is rolled in cinnamon and its shape is like that of a potato, it seemed like a good idea to call them Irish Potatoes.
Irish Potato Candy Recipe care of Entertaining.com
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 4 ounces regular cream cheese, softened (don't use low fat or whipped)
- 1 pound powdered sugar, plus extra for coating hands
- 7 ounces sweetened coconut flakes
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
Directions: In a medium size bowl use a mixer to combine the cream cheese and softened butter. Mix in sugar and vanilla, being careful to add sugar slowly to avoid creating a large sugar cloud(!). Stir in coconut flakes. Put cinnamon into small bowl.
Coat dry hands with a little powdered sugar and using your hands. Take small pieces of mixture (about 2 teaspoons apiece) and form into potato shape. Drop potatoes into cinnamon and roll to coat. Place on baking sheet. When all the potatoes have been formed and dipped in cinnamon, refrigerate for several hours until firm.
An alternative suggestion about how to coat them in cinnamon from Allrecipes.com: Put the cinnamon in a plastic bag. Drop in one potato at a time and shake til coated.
Additional ingredient suggestion: roll in some well diced nuts of your choice, as pictured in photo posted above.
For a darker shade of brown for your Irish Potatoes, coat them twice in cinnamon. Enjoy and Happy St. Patrick's Day to you!
Image: Wikimedia Commons
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