Sunday, March 6, 2011

Irish Potatoes

I'm guessing that if you're not from the Philadelphia area you'll assume from the title that this post is about vegetables. Yuck! Guess again! C'mon, you know me better than that. I don't run a health food blog.

I'd never heard of Irish potatoes until we moved to southern New Jersey and I spotted some in the bakery section of the grocery store as St. Patrick's Day approached. Curious, I inspected the ingredients list and discovered, to my joy, that Irish potatoes are actually a confection made with a sugared cream cheese and coconut mixture rolled in cinnamon to resemble tiny potatoes. The recipe is so simple that I have no excuse for not making these sooner. Even worse, we usually break down and buy some from our favorite bakery every year.

Several people online commented that these are like coconut frosting rolled in cinnamon, and that's not far off the mark. Keep these small as the sugar factor can become overwhelming after a few bites. I made a few changes to the recipe I found online including chopping the coconut a bit before adding it in. Some people weren't fond of the stringy texture so I eliminated some of those longer pieces by chopping them up. It's not a necessary step but a good idea.

As you can see from the picture above, they're not the most attractive treats but they are a delicious St. Patrick's Day tradition.

Irish Potatoes
Recipe adapted from All Recipes

3 tablespoons butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 1/2 cups flaked coconut
2-3 tablespoons ground cinnamon

In a medium bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Add the vanilla and 3 cups confectioners' sugar; beat until smooth. Add additional confectioners' sugar if mixture isn't thick enough. Using your hands if necessary, mix in the coconut. Refrigerate until solid enough to roll into balls. Place the ground cinnamon in a Ziploc bag or lidded plastic container. Roll cream cheese mixture into small balls or potato shapes, place in bag or container with cinnamon and toss to coat. Place onto a cookie sheet and chill to set. If desired, roll potatoes in cinnamon again for darker color.

Yields: About four dozen


Anonymous said...

LOL. I don't post healthy food either. tsk... tsk... on both of us. Great recipe.