Potato Candy: The Holiday Treat You’ve Got to Make This Season

by Maddie Roberts

Throughout my childhood, my family has curated different Christmas traditions, from matching pajamas to getting a new tree ornament every year. And while these are all something I look forward to each time the holiday season rolls around, my favorite tradition is making potato candy. That’s right, my favorite holiday dessert is made out of potatoes, and somehow tastes kind of like a Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup. This recipe was passed down through my family since they came to the United States from Germany many many years ago. When I was little, my mom made potato candy every year as we prepped for our Christmas celebrations. We would make it for our neighbors and bring it to school for the before-break celebration. Now, especially since I have such a long break between semesters, I have been put in charge of the potato candy. It’s a simple recipe — only three ingredients — but the hard part is there aren’t any real measurements. My grandma would always tell me you just “know when it’s enough,” but I’ve gotten it down to a science over the past few years of being the head of the potato candy making. *Warning: this is a messy process! 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 medium white potato 
  • Confectioner’s sugar (have an entire package at hand) 
  • Peanut butter

Directions:

  1. Start bringing a pot of water to a boil. Peel your potato until all the skin is gone. It’s okay if you over-peel a bit and the potato is a little smaller than when you started.
  2. Cut the potato into chunks; I usually cut it into thirds. Then put the potato chunks into the water.
  3. Boil the potato for a few minutes, until it’s soft enough to break apart when you poke it with a fork. 
  4. Put the potato into a medium-sized mixing bowl and mash it up with a fork. It doesn’t have to be super smooth, you just don’t want any huge chunks. 
  5. Slowly start mixing confectioners sugar into the potato. I recommended using an electric mixer. Keep adding more sugar until a dough forms. You should be able to hold the dough without it sticking to your hands. 
  6. Lay out a sheet of parchment paper and put more confectioner’s sugar on the paper. 
  7. Take a handful of the dough around the size of a baseball and roll it out with a rolling pin into a thin(ish) oval shape.
  8. Spread peanut butter on the side of the dough that’s facing up. Don’t have a thin layer, and leave a tiny bit of the edges uncovered. 
  9. Roll the dough into a log, starting with the end closest to you. Go slowly and carefully so the dough doesn’t break apart. 
  10. Wrap the log in the parchment paper and put it in the fridge. Let chill for five hours or longer.
  11. After it’s done chilling, you can unwrap the parchment paper and cut the log into slices. You should be able to see the amazing peanut butter swirl in each piece! 
  12. Put the slices on a plate, and enjoy!

Making potato candy is something I look forward to every year, especially since we have a family rule that we can only make it during Christmas time. I once asked to have potato candy for my birthday, which is in July, and that idea was promptly shut down. This yummy dessert is simple and super fun to make (despite the high probability of sugar getting everywhere). I hope you enjoy making potato candy — and confusing everyone when you say it’s actually made from potatoes!

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