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Posts Tagged ‘candy’

Patterson’s Potato Candy

December 17, 2010 2 comments

For the last 4 or 5 years, a group of friends and I have gotten together each December to do a cookie exchange. More exciting than the cookies themselves, I think, are seeing what everyone thinks of as “holiday cookies” and getting to share new ideas.

Each year I try to think back to what my mom made when I was a kid. The first year I made her Sugar Gem cookies and they were a hit (even the president of my university raved over the ones I brought to work!). Then I made my favorite as a kid – Cinnamon Jumbles. The super soft, buttermilk based cookies almost taste like a combination of snickerdoodle and mini pancakes. Last year I made raspberry thumbprints. Yum!

Mashing taters!

This year I called mom for her potato candy recipe. Sure it’s not a cookie, but it’s round a delicious so I figure it’ll count!

The first sign I have that something is going to be amazing is when I call and ask Mom for the recipe and she says she can’t give it to me. Because there isn’t one!

I can remember my grandmother and great-aunt having these candies on hand during Christmas. Then my sister picked up the habit.

The name is rather misleading. Yes, there’s potato in there, but it’s really just a binder to hold together a LOT of powdered sugar. And what’s better than a lot of sugar? A lot of peanut butter.

I always thought this would be harder to make, but it’s super easy!

Boil a small potato (about 3 inches in diameter) until soft, like soft enough to make mashed potatoes.

Final dough consistancy.

Mash the potato. I used a ricer because mom didn’t tell me how to do it. It worked super well (she usually uses a hand mixer, she told me later).

Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract.

 

Mix on medium while slowly adding a 1 lb box of powdered sugar. The dough will slowly turn whiter as you add the sugar and it should completely mix and start to pull away from the edges of the bowl and form a ball (sort of like bread dough). Based on the size of the potato, you may need a little more or less than 1 lb of sugar.

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling

When the dough is mixed, spread a fine layer of powdered sugar on your counter and rolling pin, and roll it out super thin. The thinner the better (and the more candy it’ll make). Once it’s pie-crust thin, spread generously with peanut butter and roll the dough.

Wrap in wax paper and chill for 4-6 hours at least. Then remove from the fridge, and slice into 1/8 to 1/4 inch slices.  You’ll want them thin because it’s super rich and sugary, sort of like a non-chocolaty fudge.

Rolled, Chilled and Cut!

Be sure to keep it in a somewhat cool place and in an airtight container. It’ll get hard and crack if it dries out.

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My Favorite Things – Candy

October 27, 2010 5 comments

So, continuing with the favorites theme, but also being a little more festive, I thought today I’d discuss candy.

I wonder if kids these days have to deal with truely disgusting halloween candy. You know what I’m talking about. Those orange and black wrapped nasty tan colored taffy things…they were so gross, no one even knew what the hell they were. They were the worst.

The best was probably the year my cousins and I surprised their neighbor. Halloween was interesting where we grew up. Most everyone I knew when I was little (including my family) got no trick-or-treaters, maybe one or two, because we lived so far away from people. Halloween was a family thing. We’d get in a car and go visit every family member that wanted to see how cute we were.

So the neighbor wasn’t expecting kids. He had no candy. What he did have, were packs of oreo cookies in the freezer. They weren’t full-size packs, but they were pretty huge.

I think this was also the year of Lara’s ingenious pumpkin costume. We’d taken to making our own costumes, and Lara took a giant leaf bag, cut arm and leg holes, and stuffed it with herself and plenty of balled up newspaper.

It wasn’t until we got there that she realized she couldn’t fit in the car. She spent the rest of the night in the “way back” of mom’s Jeep. And several times, while walking, she’d “poop” newspaper on people’s lawns from her leg holes.

So back to candy…If I had to name a top five (and I’m talking common candy, not stuff that’s only around for Christmas or Easter) I’d have to say:

1. Kit Kats. What can I say, I’m always in need of a break.

2. Smarties. Duh. Because they make you smart.

3. Gobstoppers. A super nice coworker even made me a birthday cake once topped with gobstoppers.

4. Peppermint Patties. Personally, I prefer the mini ones to the big ones. I like for the chocolate to mint ratio to err on the side of chocolate.

5. Nerds. If they’re on a rope, that’s even better.

So, two questions for you…what’s your favorite and what will you be handing out to the kiddies this year?

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