Ah, potato candy! Does anyone else remember this? I remember first making this heaven-on-earth confection with my mom when I was 5 years old. At the time, we lived in a Little House on the Prairie log cabin on the outskirts of Waverly, Ohio. However, instead of the “prairie”, the cabin was in the woods. I mean waaaaay back in the woods.
Gosh, I have such fond memories of the log cabin. Surprising, since I lived in 18+ houses growing up (maybe more-“unstable childhood”) and the log cabin was just one of many future homes. However, it stands out the most vividly in my mind. Not only do I remember making potato candy, but I recall being in the kitchen with my mom making homemade donut holes, guacamole (yuck at the time, but I love it now), and homemade ice cream out of real snow! We were briefly stranded there during the blizzard of 1978 (or was it ’79?).
I started kindergarten here and we had this bus driver named “Sunny” who loved to sing! I had my first crush….Luke Skywalker. This is the place that my sisters and I all developed our future immunity to chicken pox; where my sister Jennie thought it would be oh so funny to stuff a living, breathing, jumping frog down her prissy sister’s (aka me) underwear; where my sisters and I played house and washed our fake dishes in the creek; where we swam in a pond surrounded by cat tails; this is the place where in one day of playing outside my mom discovered 7 ticks on my head (thought I would faint when she pulled out the tweezers) and I could go on and on…but back to potato candy.
So, who would think that the world’s best candy starts with one little mashed potato. Yes, that’s right, a mashed potato and just two other simple ingredients: powdered sugar and peanut butter. I mean insane amounts of powdered sugar…no wonder my 5 year old self has such fond memories of it. Don’t let the fact that it has potato in it fool you, it’s really just there to help bond together all the powdered sugar. Oh, you have to try this. It’s so rich and melt-in-your mouth creamy. I think this is where my peanut butter obsession began.
Recipe: Old-Fashioned Potato Candy
1 small potato, peeled, diced, boiled until completely tender, and drained
2 lbs. (approximately) of powdered sugar
1 jar (12 oz) creamy peanut butter
Mash the potato with a fork. Slowly add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time (note: the amount you add will vary depending on the size/amount of the potato-but the smaller the potato the better-a little potato goes really far) until it reaches the consistency of pie crust dough. Just a warning, the mixture will be runny at first. You’ll be like “holy crap, what did I do wrong?” but the answer is nothing. For some reason, the powdered sugar turns the potato to a liquid at first (kind of cool actually), but it will thicken as you continue to add more sugar. Once it becomes a dough, roll it out on a surface dusted with powdered sugar to a 1/4″ thickness. Spread with peanut butter…enough that will be visible when you roll it but not too thick. Roll it up like a jelly roll and chill for at least 30 minutes then cut into 1/4″ slices and pop in your mouth. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Oh man, this stuff is soooo good!!
I leave you with a video of Dee Dee Sharp singing “Mashed Potato Time”. Good night.