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. This old-school candy reminds us of divinity and other traditional homemade Southern sweets, but gets a little more creative. 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.
1/3 cup peeled, cooked, and mashed russet potato, cold (about 1 large potato)
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon table salt
6 to 7 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
How to Make It
Beat mashed potato and next 3 ingredients at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric mixer 2 minutes. Beat in 6 cups powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Add up to 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 Tbsp. at a time, to form dough.
Gather dough into a ball; dust with powdered sugar. Roll to 1/8 inch thick on parchment paper, and cut into a 12- x 10-inch rectangle. Generously sprinkle powdered sugar over dough, and place a piece of parchment paper over rectangle. Invert rectangle; discard parchment paper on top.
Spread peanut butter over dough. Starting at 1 long side, tightly roll up candy, jelly-roll fashion, using parchment paper as a guide. Wrap in parchment paper, and freeze 1 hour. Cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices, and serve. Refrigerate sliced candy in an airtight container up to 1 week.