Appalachian Food

Potato Candy

Potato Candy

Have you ever eaten Potato Candy? It’s really good, especiallay if you have sweet tooth. JC McCoy makes the best potato candy I’ve ever eaten.

It only takes 3 ingredients:

Potato Candy

• 1 small potato
• 2 pounds confectioner’s sugar (maybe less)
• peanut butter

Old fashioned potato candy

Peel and slice potato. In small sauce pot, cover potato slices with water and cook over medium heat until soft.

Old timey potato candy

I like to start with a little potato and a little sugar and then add more if I need it. The dough can be quite sticky, but basically you use enough potato and enough confectioner sugar to make a dough that you can roll out. Letting the potato cool first seems to help the dough come together better.

Mix in additional sugar if needed.

Peanut butter candy

Once the dough comes together, roll dough out to a thickness of about 1/4 of an inch-don’t go getting a ruler here, just eyeball it. Use additional confectioners sugar to aid in rolling the dough out.

Peanut butter potato candy

Spread dough with peanut butter and roll dough up like you are making cinnamon rolls.

Once you have it rolled up into a log, place the log wrapped in plastic wrap in the frig for at least an hour, longer is okay too. When ready to serve remove from frig and slice into 1/4 inch slices. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Potato candy is very sweet, it puts you in the mind of fudge. It’s an easy recipe to make because it uses items people typically have on hand. And the swirled pieces look pretty, somehow I forgot to take a picture of that part, but I’m sure you can imagine what it would look like.


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  • Reply
    jane Smith
    March 15, 2018 at 11:20 am

    would like to see the recipe Eve mentioned for velveeta cheese fudge

  • Reply
    Dan O'Connor
    October 9, 2014 at 8:40 am

    I really had to laugh reading this recipe. Not really much potato in this potato candy. How can you go wrong with confectioner’s sugar and peanut butter! A little potato for body.

  • Reply
    October 8, 2014 at 7:51 am

    Eve-Ive never tried it with instant potatoes but I guess it might work : ) Yes you do need to keep it in the frig. Have a great day!
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    October 7, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    My aunt used to make this with me when I was a kid. It was always a favorite. for a special treat after she mixed the potato & powdered sugar she would add a little bit of mint extract and we would make little balls and dip them in melted chocolate!

    • Reply
      July 1, 2019 at 3:16 pm

      Yummy! I’m going to try your recipe!!

  • Reply
    October 7, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    Nah….I don’t think so. If I try it I’ll leave out the potatoes. Peanut butter and sugar–that sounds good!

  • Reply
    October 7, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    Oh,yes, my mother loved to make this during holidays! I love it and am so happy to have this recipe again! Thanks!

  • Reply
    October 7, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    My first thought, being lazy, can I use instant potato? I do make velveeta cheese fudge and let me tell you that is delicious. Does potato candy need to be kept refrigerated? I usually take things like this to homecoming or family reunions where it has to sit on a long table for a couple of hours. I’ll bet you could add cocoa powder to the potato. Hmmm….and sprinkle crushed Heath bar on the pb before rolling.

  • Reply
    October 7, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    Sounds like a recipe that came about during a time of desire and need, like during the Depression or something similar, doesn’t it.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    October 7, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    Oh, yeah- forgot all about it!

  • Reply
    Candy Cook
    October 7, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    umm… Whaffen you left off the peanut butter and kneaded in a drop of food coloring and cut or moulded into shapes. Then spread with peanut butter or chocolate. Voilà! Poor Man’s Marzipan.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    October 7, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    I never heard of such a thing! But
    I bet it’s good, cause I like the
    ingredients. I’ll have to try it

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    October 7, 2014 at 11:33 am

    Never heard of it, but seems like a sugar overload. I would give it a try though

  • Reply
    October 7, 2014 at 11:05 am

    Ah! Something new and creative for me to try! Never had it, but it certainly whets my sweet tooth. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    October 7, 2014 at 10:37 am

    love potato candy and have great memories of my grandmother and mother making it. I made it with my children and grandchildren. Now I need to do it with the greats!

  • Reply
    Maggie Galliher
    October 7, 2014 at 10:29 am

    I had it during childhood, but only when other children brought it to school and shared. It wasn’t something my own mother made. I used to make a similar candy with more confectioner’s sugar but minus the potatoes. I don’t understand the “why” of the potatoes unless the recipe originated during the Depression when sugar was difficult to get.

  • Reply
    Carol Stuart
    October 7, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Had forgotten all about eating this as a child in WV!

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    October 7, 2014 at 10:10 am

    PSS….Tipper, you know what is scarier than Halloween when I think about it. In those days, you never heard much about children have such allergic reactions to peanuts or peanut butter or dumping too much sugar in their little diabetic (NOT) bodies….What is going on in our world today!
    We didn’t have that much problem in the thirties, forties either. It was rare it seemed for food allergies…Maybe Poison Oak and Ivy, nearly everyone would itch after that type of exposure.
    OK…I’ll hush!
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    October 7, 2014 at 10:03 am

    Yes, now let me think about this recipe a minute. Let’s see now, my boys are 48 and 46, so I remember making the candy after we moved to our country hill in `72 and the boys had not started school. When the oldest was in the second grade, I believe it was? So I’m guessing, the first time I made it was about 40 years ago! WOW, time flies when you’re having fun…uhhh…raising children! I took it to school for a little holiday party, I was the room Mother! I don’t think they have those any more either! This was, of course, before the latest ban on cupcakes, Kool-Aid and general small children holiday celebrations! The kids loved it, of course they would, peanut butter and sugar mix well! I sometimes used crunchy peanut butter with a little regular mixed together in a bowl to make it easier to spread!
    Thanks for the memories, Tipper!
    PS…I never mentioned to the children there was a potato in the mix!
    You can also freeze just a bit, melt chocolate and dip half the pinwheel in it and lay on waxed paper to chill. For those of you that don’t remember or know about wax paper? Cooking parchment paper will do or cookie racks!

  • Reply
    October 7, 2014 at 8:48 am

    Never heard of it, got to try it!

  • Reply
    Deborah Catoe
    October 7, 2014 at 8:43 am

    I grew up eating irish potato candy. My grandma always made it for us when we were kids. Now I make it for the sibs and their families. Grandma’s recipe was and irish potato the size of and egg. one box of powdered sugar and peanut butter. she mashed her potato hot and added the sugar hot. It’s very thin and watery to start with but as you gradually add sugar it turns into a dough you can roll out. It is then the same as your recipe. it is very sweet, but we still love it.

  • Reply
    Barb Wright
    October 7, 2014 at 8:18 am

    My grandma made this. Sometimes she dipped them in chocolate,mostly at Christmas. It was very rich! Funny you posted this,as I’ve been thinking about making some for our grandkids for Halloween..great minds think alike!

  • Reply
    Ken Ryan
    October 7, 2014 at 7:58 am

    I’ve never heard of potato candy, but if it has potatoes in it, I’ll probably like it.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    October 7, 2014 at 7:29 am

    Tip, I’ve never had potato candy and I’ve never heard of it either. It seems kind of strange to make candy with potatoes but them folks make cakes with sauerkraut. I guess the morale of the story is sugar conquers everything!

  • Reply
    Eldonna Ashley
    October 7, 2014 at 7:13 am

    I grew up eating this delicious candy. Sometimes we made it with left over mashed potatoes. Some friends and I were recently talking abou making some.
    Here is a link to Potato Candy images.

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