Recipe: Potato Candy
There’s an old saying that goes: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going” – and that’s certainly true of Southern cooks. Potato Candy actually originated in the South during the Great Depression; making this tasty treat was a great way to create a delicious confection out of the little ingredients that were available during those trying times. Complete with creamy peanut butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract, Potato Candy is the unique Southern sweet that’s sure to turn heads at your next family reunion, holiday festivity, or birthday celebration. The cold mashed potatoes, as the name suggests, are key in this recipe because they act as a binder, holding the candy's ingredients together. When preparing this nostalgic dessert, we recommend using the jelly-roll method. This method simply uses a piece of parchment paper as a guide to help you roll the confection into tight, beautiful layers. The result is a distinctively pretty presentation! Of course, it’s important to keep in mind that the colder the candy is, the easier it will be to slice into clean, even layers. Make sure to store the finished Potato Candy in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
To begin, simply beat your mashed potatoes, milk, vanilla extract, and table salt in a heavy-duty mixer at medium speed for about two minutes. This will be the base for your candy. Next, add in powdered sugar – one cup at a time. This process will stiffen and form the dough for your delightful Potato Candy. Gather the dough into a ball, and dust it with powdered sugar. Roll the dough about 1/8-inch thick on parchment paper, making sure that the dough is even. Cut it into a large rectangle. Generously sprinkle powdered sugar over the dough, and place a piece of parchment paper over the rectangle. After you invert the rectangle and discard the parchment paper on top, add a layer of smooth, creamy peanut butter. Sounds crazy – but this recipe is bookmarked in Mama's recipe box. This traditional, homemade confection has been around the South for a very long time thanks to the thriftiness of Southern cooks! Bring your sweet tooth, and get ready to enjoy a mouthwatering candy that, interestingly, originated in a time of scarcity.