Monday, December 18, 2017

Potato Candy and Christmas by Paty Jager

Wishing everyone a wonderful Holiday Season!  Because we are traveling to our kids in Alaska for Christmas, I made it a point to get everything done ahead of time. I'm not a procrastinator and hate feeling rushed.

This year I cut down on the goodies I usually make, but after harvesting the 1/4 acre of potatoes my hubby planted as an experiment, I remembered a candy my grandmother always made at Christmas. Potato Candy Mints. I spotted the boxes of recipes on my dad's kitchen counter when we there and when I tried to go through them, I realized Ididn't have enough time.

When I returned home I took to the internet and found a recipe that sounded like what Grandma had made. I adapted the recipe to make the small patties I remember having at Christmas. And I also made the recipe version.  I found this Peppermint Potato Candy Recipe on the Taste of Home site. It's interesting that a lot of the recipes I found were swirls with peanut butter.

Both products of this recipe
 The origin of this candy is as diverse as the recipes I found. Some say it originated during the depression when there were little resources to make candy and others say it dates back to German and Dutch settlers arriving here and bringing their recipes. And even others say it originated in the Southern region of the U.S.  Wherever the recipe hails from, it is easy and uses few ingredients that aren't that expensive.  

Peppermint Potato Candy Recipe

Ingredients
3/4 cup mashed potatoes (prepared without milk and butter)
2 tsps butter, softened
1 tsp peppermint extract
1 package ( 2 pounds) confectioners sugar
2 cups ( 12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1 TBLSP shortening

Directions:
1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the mashed potatoes, butter and extract. Gradually beat in confectioners sugar. Press into a foil- lined 13 x 9 - inch pan.

2. Melt chocolate chips and shortening; spread over potato mixture. Cover and refrigerate until set. Using foil, lift candy out of pan. discard foil; cut candy into 1-inch squares. Store in airtight container. Yield: about 2 3/4 pounds.

The way my grandmother made them: After mixing all the ingredients, make small balls - about 1/2 a teaspoon of candy - then flatten with fingers or a fork on waxed paper, making disks.  After using about half of the mixture, I beat in a color, like red or green and then make more disks. Allow these to dry so you can pick them up.

Here is another treat I have for you:

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Paty Jager is an award-winning author of 32 novels, 6 novellas, and numerous anthologies of murder mystery, western romance, and action adventure. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters.


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