Thursday 10 March 2011

Irish Potato Candy

vegan Irish potato candy

A fun treat to make with the kids this St. Patrick's day!

vegan Irish potato candy

A Happy St. Patrick's Day post to you all!! :-) Although I must first explain that there is nothing at all Irish about these. You might be thinking as I live in Ireland these are some sort of traditional sweet. No. I never even heard of them before but came across them online searching for something else entirely. They are a completely American invention but a cute and yummy one at that ;-)

**Edit!** Or so I thought!! The lovely Penny at Scottish Vegan Homemaker mentioned in the comments here she and her husband bought them as kids in Scotland in the 50 and 60's! So.... not American after all, their history is now a mystery!


Now, almost every recipe I read for these was different from the others but they all called for a coconut filling. I immediately knew what I would make mine with - my bounty bar recipe filling, for two reasons:

1. It's a sweet coconut filling and
2. Mine actually calls for potato!! Which means of course that my Irish potato candy is made with real Irish potatoes, which is pretty darn cool ;-)

Making these also meant I got to make my bounty bar filling again and take photos of all the steps which I didn't before. They are dead easy but it's nice to see what happens to the potato when you add the sugar. So, here we go:

Irish Potato Candy: makes about 11 small 'new potato' size sweets

2 Tbsp cold mashed potato
120g or 1 cup icing sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
70g or 3/4 cup desiccated coconut
For coating:
1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 Tbsp icing sugar

First cook your potato, you will need about 1 medium sized potato, a floury type you would normally use for mash, not a new potato! You can peel it before boiling or after, doesn't matter, just make sure you do NOT salt the water :-) Boil for about 20 minutes or until very soft, drain and return to the pot. Let it sit on low heat about 1 minute to dry it out further then mash well. Set aside to cool or pop it in the fridge if your impatient, it cools down very fast. 
Now you want to push the mash through a fine mesh seive to get it extra smooth as you don't want any little potato bits in this:

Keep pressing it through until it's all out then scrape off the bottom of the seive to get it all out. Give it a good stir till smooth. Now measure out 2 Tbsp of the mash and place in a bowl.

Now the magic happens, actually no, it's not magic, it's purely scientific - add some of the icing sugar and stir well. The potato will almost immediately dissolve into liquid like this:

Keep adding and stirring in the icing sugar until it starts to thicken up like so:

Now add the coconut and stir well...

Keep stirring, how do you think I'm the one people come to when they need a pickle jar opened??

Add more icing sugar and or coconut until it comes together in a ball like so: don't worry if it seems 'loose' - the mixture stiffens up in the fridge later.

Now make your potatoes, I went for randomly shaped little new potatoes, each one there is about a tsp of mixture. Remember these are sweet candy so don't make them too big. If you are making bounty bars out of this just make them little bounty bar shapes instead. That's mounds to my North American friends ;-)

Now mix together the cinnamon, cocoa powder and icing sugar and roll the potatoes generously in this. Also don't worry if this mixture seems a little bitter, the sweetness of the filling counters them quite nicely.

Now if you like pop some pine nuts in for 'eyes' and chill in the fridge for an hour or so then enjoy :-)

Also, those little dirty looking spuds reminded me of a sign at my old favourite farm shop back in England:

Love it!!! :-D

Nutritional Information: 1 'potato' based on making 11
Calories: 111
Fat: 5.5g
Sat Fat: 4.9g
Protein: 0.9g
Sugar: 11.4g
Fibre: 1.7g

Vegan Bounty Bars


  1. Haha, how funny are those potato candy - love it. This is exactly why I'm giving you the 'Stylish Blogger Award'. You can find out what to do next on my blog. Keep doin' what you're doin'!

  2. Hi,I found your recipe when I was looking for vegan victoria sponge cake,what brand of cake mix did you use for the French Petit Fours because the crumb texture is amazing. Thanks.

  3. Thanks so much again peasoupeats!! An honour coming from a blog as nice as yours ♥

    Anonymous, that one is a long answer!! Lol - please see the comments on the french fancies revisted post here:

  4. Thanks for the prompt reply.I wish the cake mix was vegan.I'll use Betty Crocker cake mixes, think they are vegan. Thanks again.

  5. I'm pretty sure Betty Crocker is not vegan. The cake mix I used IS however. If you were worried about the glucono delta lactone, read here:

    :-) Turns out I was miss informed that it may come from honey.

  6. I was at a Scottish Vegans potluck today and a friend had brought along Bounty bars made to your recipe. Dee-licious! I don't know whether to thank you, though, as I'm going to have to make some and they're not going to help me to lose weight, are they? ;O)

    DH and I remember sweetie potatoes from our childhoods! I love the wee pinenut eyes! Vey cute! :o)

  7. Oh wow! Thanks so much for letting me know Penny and so glad you liked them!! Yeah, they are not great for diets though ;-) I really thought the potato sweets were an American thing! I'll have to research more and change my write up there. Interesting you had them growing up....thanks so much again!

  8. Yes, I was a child in Scotland in the Fifties and John (DH) in the Sixties, and sweetie potatoes were always in the sweet shops, to tempt us to spend our pocket money! Not sure if they're still around, as sweet shops don't feature much in my shopping forays, these days! :o)

    Gemma, the friend who made the Bounty bars, posted a link to your recipe, so your fame will spread even more! :o)

  9. Thanks so much for that info - I'll definitely edit my write up there!! :-) Many thanks to you and Gemma, always nice to know things are made and enjoyed ♥


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