Three ingredients. This simple candy recipe has been created to use potato as a key ingredient. Potatoes were introduced to North America by European settlers, mostly from the northern regions. It stands to reason that potato candy was probably first made in Europe and the recipe was brought here by immigrants. These could have been from Germany, France, Ireland, Scandinavia, Russia or any place where potatoes were popular.
The sweet treat was created since food was limited to use basic ingredients. Initially, it was made with only potato and confectioner’s sugar… then varieties like peanut butter, nuts, jams, etc. were introduced. Wendy Kate shares her story of this nostalgic treat.
“This recipe – for an old-fashioned candy made from a simple potato and lots of sugar – just might be the one recipe that holds the most nostalgia for me. My grandmother used to make this potato candy recipe every year for my dad, and even this many years later.”
“It always seemed to me like a recipe that originated when money and ingredients were scarce. It’s not fancy or expensive, but one bite and I’m a 5-year-old little girl again.”
“Your grandma might have called it depression candy. This easy-to-make, old-fashioned favorite is a true piece of nostalgia.”
Old Fashioned Potato Candy
- 1 small potato (or ½ medium potato)
- 2 lb confectioner’s sugar
- 1 jar peanut butter
- Peel, boil and mash potato. Set aside ½ of potato and put other ½ in mixer. Add sugar, about a cup at a time, mixing thoroughly. Once all sugar is added, add the rest of the potato a little at a time until you reach a thick, cookie dough-like consistency.
- Dust a cutting board or large piece of parchment paper with confectioner’s sugar. Roll out dough, about 2 cups at a time, until about ¼-inch thick. Spread with an even layer of peanut butter; roll up into a log shape. Repeat until all dough is used. Place candy rolls in fridge.
- Once chilled and firm to the touch, remove from fridge and slice each roll into ½”-thick pieces.
- Makes approx. 3 lbs candy. (Although I have never actually used an entire batch. It makes a LOT and I usually quit before I roll it all out.)
Photography: Wendy Kate