Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Pioneer Potato Candy

I found this candy recipe book at a yard sale last summer in Pennsylvania. It was written by the editors of the Farm Journal and contains a treasure trove of recipes. Caramels, chocolates, taffy and fondants among them.

I read an interesting review HERE at from someone who has tried many recipes in the book. Even though she felt it was a "a valuable collection of heirloom candy and confectionary recipes" she said the instructions were lacking because most women at the time were expected to know the basics and able to fill in the blanks themselves. 

The first recipe that caught my eye was this one for potato candy. I have never heard of candy made from potatoes. I previously had success with a Velvet Mashed Potato Chocolate Cake, so I gave it a go. 

The result?  It was easy to make with the directions provided. It tastes sort of like a peanut butter cup made from potato paste instead of peanut butter. They are extremely sweet and I found them addictive so I gave the rest away as soon as possible. The next time I make them, I'll experiment with the coatings, decorations and maybe add a flavor extract to the potato center.

Pioneer Potato Candy
From Homemade Candy By the Editors of the Farm Journal, Doubleday & Company, Inc., 
Garden City, NY 1970


  • 1 cup warm mashed potatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 7 cups unsifted powdered sugar
  • 1 pound chocolate
  • 2/3 cup chopped or ground salted peanuts

*I halved the amounts from these and ended up with 24 pieces.


  • Fill up sifter or sieve with 2 cups of the powdered sugar.
  • In a bowl combine the potatoes, salt and vanilla.
  • Sift in the about half the sugar in the sifter (1 cup) and stir to combine. Don't panic when it turns to liquid.**
  • Keep sifting the sugar in one cup at time and stirring until the mixture thickens to a sugar cookie dough consistency.
  • Mold into a ball, cover the bowl with a damp cloth and chill until firm.
  • Remove from fridge and form into little balls, return to fridge.
  • Melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler.
  • Remove potato balls from fridge and using a fondue fork or similar dip the potato balls into the chocolate. Sprinkle with or roll them in the chopped peanuts then put them on a wire rack over a sheet of parchment paper to drip dry.
  • After they were all finished and semi dry I transferred them to a plate and chilled them once again before serving.

**They state in the book that the amount of sugar you will need depends on how much liquid is in the potatoes (ruled by climate and season). You might need more or less until you achieve the dough like consistency.


  1. I have never heard of potato candy either sounds unusual but I'm sure with the addition of chocolate and peanut it's delicious.

  2. I'm loving these sweet potato (but not "sweet potato") recipes!

  3. Old-fashioned cookbooks are such treasures. It's a little frustrating when the directions are lacking or there's no picture, but sometimes the weirdest sounds recipes have the best surprises.
    I would never have guessed potato would make such a cool candy!

  4. Wow - how wonderfully bizarre! I might have to make these 'just because'. I like the idea of using salted peanuts, especially if the dough is very sweet.

    Saw you mentioned you're heading across the pond. Hope you have a great trip! :-)

  5. are you selling this book?

  6. Potatoes are the main ingredient in almond joy and mounds

  7. This sounds exactly what us Midwesterners call Oysters. The center can be chocolate or vanilla. Some recipes omit the potato. So good!

  8. I will use this recipe to try to recreate the snowballs that my Mom used to make. She didn’t have nearly the amount of sugar but added fine unsweetened coconut to the potatoes. After she coated them in chocolate, she rolled them in more coconut and they looked like snowballs - a candy that was very popular in the stores at Christmas.


Thank you for your comments and feedback. I love hearing from you!