The Great Indoors: Irish “Potato” Candies

When you’re talking about St. Patrick’s Day cuisine most likely the staples come to mind: corned beef and cabbage, Irish stew, Irish soda bread, and of course green beer. But how often do you hear about dessert? We know the Irish are a fun-loving people so why wouldn’t they enjoy something sweet after dinner? One of my favorite Irish people certainly does. Kathleen Boyle Wrigley is North Dakota’s 2nd lady (husband Drew Wrigley is the lieutenant governor). She says growing up in Philadelphia, St. Patrick’s Day was always a big deal for her very Irish family and Irish Potato Candies were a must for dessert.
This recipe doesn’t actually use any potatoes. The sweet candied balls rolled in cinnamon simply look like potatoes. Consider it a sweet nod to Irish culinary culture. For your St. Patrick’s Day party plate them surrounding a loaf of Irish soda bread or serve them along with a glass of Bailey’s Irish Crème. I think they’re also good served with graham crackers or vanilla wafers. They’re super easy to make, so you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the party – green beer and all!

Irish Potato Candies

¼ cup butter, softened
1/2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
4 -5 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 1/2 cups flaked coconut
1-2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
In a medium bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add the vanilla and confectioners’ sugar; beat until smooth. Mix in the coconut. Roll into balls or potato shapes, and roll in the cinnamon. Place onto a cookie sheet and chill to set. If desired, roll potatoes in cinnamon again for darker color.