This old-fashioned potato candy recipe is a classic for good reason. It takes just four ingredients and makes a fun sweet treat that is surprisingly good.
There is something extra special about a good vintage treat. Grandma’s potato candy recipe is an oldy, but a goodie.
It uses a surprising base of mashed potatoes along with powdered sugar, vanilla, and peanut butter to make a fun spiral shaped candy. It is so good that when my husband’s grandma entered it in our potato cook-off, it got second place!
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That is really saying something because there were almost 20 entries, so there was plenty of competition. It was unexpected and was probably the most talked about entry after we tasted them all.
If you have never had potato candy, you will have to make some to see for yourself. It may sound strange, but it really is good.
Preparing the Potato
It is best to start with plain mashed potatoes. You can peel and boil a medium potato just for the recipe.
Or do what I did and make some mashed potatoes for dinner. Pull a half cup of the potatoes out of the pan before you add the milk and butter.
Those extra potatoes can be put in a container in the refrigerator until you are ready to make the candy. That way you are getting double duty on your boiled potatoes.
You can also use the inside of a leftover baked potato. Or microwave a potato and then remove the peel to keep the water content down.
You will want to start with really smooth mashed potatoes. So either use a ricer or take your time and try to get them lump free.
Making the Candy
Put the mashed potatoes in a large mixing bowl and start stirring in powdered sugar. Add a couple of cups and sugar and mix it in.
You will be surprised what happens as you stir it together. The two solids come together to make a liquid.
Stir in a splash of vanilla, then keep adding powdered sugar a cup at a time until you get a playdough consistency.
The exact amount of powdered sugar you will need will depend on a variety of factors. The biggest being how much moisture was left in your potatoes.
Once you have a nice dough consistency, sprinkle some powdered sugar over a sheet of wax paper or parchment paper. Roll the mixture out into a rectangle that is about 13x18x1/4-inch.
Gently spread peanut butter over the sheet of potato candy. Then, use the wax paper to help roll it up like you would a cinnamon roll.
Wrap the wax paper around the candy and chill it for at least an hour to help it set up. Use a sharp knife to cut it into 1/4-inch slices and put them in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it.
It really is pretty simple to make. It just takes a little trial and error to get the right consistency.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use something other than peanut butter?
Of course! Any nut butter works. Nutella would be a fun substitution for a little bit of chocolate and hazelnut. Or you can use cookie butter if you want to go nut free.
What kind of potato should I use for potato candy?
Russet potatoes work best for making potato candy. The starch content in Russet potatoes make them ideal for this recipe.
Can I use instant potatoes in this recipe?
Unfortunately, no. It is not recommended to use instant potatoes. The texture will be different.
What can I do if my potato candy is too soft?
If you find that your potato candy is too soft, just chill it uncovered on a wax paper lined sheet pan for a couple of hours. The dry air in the refrigerator will help to firm them up a bit. Then, transfer them to an airtight container for longer storage.
How do you store potato candy?
Store your potato candy in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Put a sheet of wax paper between layers of candy slices to keep them from sticking together.
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Grandma’s Potato Candy
- ½ cup mashed potatoes plain
- 6 to 7 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup peanut butter
- In a large bowl, combined smooth mashed potatoes and a couple of cups of powdered sugar. The mixture should look really loose and liquidy.
- Stir in the vanilla. Then keep adding powdered sugar, a cup or so at a time, until the mixture is the texture of playdough.
- Dust a 13×18-inch piece of wax paper or parchment paper with powdered sugar. Put the potato dough on top and roll it out into a 1/4-inch thick rectangle.
- Spread the peanut butter over the mashed potato mixture. Use the wax paper to help roll it like you would cinnamon rolls.
- Wrap the log in the wax paper and chill for at least an hour.
- Cut the candy into ½-inch slices.
- Store the candy in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.