Monday, March 12, 2012

Irish Potatoes

Last night as Sunday dinner was winding down, I told everyone they had to get out of my house because I needed to make a craft. Someone pointed to the Irish potatoes, and asked, "Why don't you just take a picture of these?" And then there was brief discussion of food craft. I figured since it's a category on Craft Gossip, and the potatoes need to be manipulated to look like potatoes (clay!), I was done. Plus which I doubled the recipe*, but forgot to double the butter, then I needed to work a stick of butter into an incredibly stiff dough. It wasn't just crafting; it felt like a workout! 


Oh, and dinner was awesome. This easy brisket. Everyone wanted the recipe. (I wish I had had the online version. In the paper, it said a 4lb brisket fed 4-6 people. Online a 4lb brisket serves 8-10. We have eight, and Jersey eats for three. I bought a brisket that weighed more than I did when I was newborn. Leftovers!)

Irish Potatoes are a particularly Philadelphia treat which are not at all Irish, and are not made from potatoes. It's candy. When I first moved here, I thought they were the weirdest thing. And not terribly tasty. Then Cathy, a Philadelphia native, gave me her grandmother's recipe (and permission to share it). This year, Sissy asked me to make them. So these have gone from "weird" to "family favorite" in three years! 
I did not photograph potatoes.
Cathy's Grandmother's Irish Potatoes
2 lb confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar, icing sugar, 10x sugar)
4 oz. butter softened
4 oz. cream cheese softened
1/2 cup coconut (optional)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Cinnamon

Keep a little bit of confectioner's sugar aside. Mix everything else in a bowl with hands (Do it; I almost broke my KitchenAid mixer with this recipe.) Roll into bite-size balls. (Or not so much balls as potatoes. You know what potatoes look like.) Mix the confectioner's you held back with cinnamon until it resembles the color of potatoes. Roll balls in cinnamon mixture. (Don't worry if the color seems off. While they chill, the powdered sugar will disappear, leaving the candies looking just like potatoes!) Chill the candies, but let them soften a little before you eat them



So I sat on my bum and stitched while watching an old Midsomer Murders. I may have a finish of this sort to show you soon, which is good because I don't want to alienate my stitching friends with this turn toward general crafts.

My cousin and I are taking a last minute trip to New Hampshire for my grandmother's birthday tomorrow. I will be on the road for much of Tuesday and Wednesday. I'm trying to figure out a portable craft from my list but I'm not sure I have two. Sissy and I will travel to Florida to visit our parents this month, and when I made my schedule I built in crafts that were easy to travel with. Of course, cross-stitch travels, it just takes so damn long. In fact, someone asked if I would be embroidering this month but I didn't think I could  stitch and finish-finish a piece of embroidery in one day. So there's a question for you: if I start a stitching project for a craft, do I have to finish-finish it the same day to count as a "craft-a-day?" Poll in sidebar.

* Don't double. Make two batches.

9 comments:

Charlene ♥ SC said...

Here's one from my childhood that actually USES potato - even if you ever have leftover baked or too many boiled for salad.
Mix a box of confectioners sugar into the potato to make dough. Roll out a thinish layer. Spread peanut butter (I bet Nutella would be good, too). Roll into a log and cut into slices. It was SO good when my aunt made it for us...

Anonymous said...

I think that if you stitch a small project in one day that counts as a craft-a-day, then, if you finish it another day that counts as a separate craft-a-day. How's that?

dd

Deb said...

That brisket recipe sounds really good - I'm going to have to try it.

And why do those potatoes strike a cord in my brain - maybe I saw them before. I think that maybe I'll have to try them just to see what they're all about - maybe half the recipe just in case - although my kids will eat most everything.

tamdoll said...

I think I got here from CraftGossip... I will have to try this recipe, thanks for sharing! My sister lives in PA, I will ask her if she's ever seen these - usually she tells me about new tasty things so she may not have seen them either.

Angela Watts said...

I've had this recipe (or one like it) bookmarked on Allrecipes for ages but never get around to it after the brisket and soda bread marathons....maybe this year.

Also-if you only leave aside some of the sugar, the cinnamon would be mixed in as well...

Jane said...

I was considering following your Irish potato recipe, it sounded so good, but when I got to my guild meeting tonight, someone had Irish Potato candies (not homemade!) there. They are very tasty, but I couldn't believe the coincidence.
Jane

Donna said...

I am trying to stay away from candy, so this sounds WONDERFUL...

Evelyn Mayfield said...

Oh, wow - I am 72 and a former Philly girl (birth to 21) and then a South Jersey girl (the next 17 yrs), so I know ALL about how yummy these can be with the right recipe. Until NOW, I never had it - and NOW I can't wait to make a batch for my 56-yr-old nephew who grew to love them from a local homemade candy shop in So Jersey when he was growing up - this will blow his mind and fatten my hips (sigh) but it will be worth it - thank you SO much...
Evie
http://prayersncrafts.blogspot.com

Aberdeb said...

I remember these now.. need to call my sister. We are constantly sharing lost memories of childhood. Thanks