I recently read about potato candy, sometimes known as depression candy, so I decided to find out more. I went online and there were many recipes listed for potato candy, however, they all seem to be basically the same; mashed potato and powdered sugar. Most added peanut butter as a filling and one brave soul spread Nutella on top of the peanut butter for an added sugar kick. If my mom were still alive I would pick up the phone and say, “Mom, tell me about potato candy”, as she would surely know. But I have no memory of her talking about it. She did tell me that her mother was very creative with a potato when she was a girl. Apparently that was a staple for most of their meals and one or two potatoes had to serve their family of six.
Out of curiosity I decided to try making some potato candy. Surely all of the rave reports and fond memories that I read about could not be wrong. Veering slightly away from the most used singular filling of peanut butter, I added some crushed pretzels. This was a nice way to achieve a sweet/salty taste. Then I tried another batch with added lemon juice and lemon zest with no filling. That was nice also. Mind you, this candy is very sweet on its own so try ways to tone it down.
This is what I did for the sweet/salty variety.
1 T mashed potatoes and 1+/- cup powdered sugar – mix together
2+ T peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
2+ T crushed salted pretzels
Don’t be afraid to use your left over mashed potatoes from dinner. It’s ok if they are salted and buttered. When you add the sugar it seems to liquefy the potatoes…so that was surprisingly fun. Add sugar until the dough is stiff enough to roll out. Roll between 2 sheets of waxed paper to about a 4” by 8” rectangle. Pull off the top sheet of waxed paper, spread the peanut butter, and sprinkle pretzels over the top of the rectangle. Roll up lengthwise (using a small spatula to loosen if it wants to stick as you roll) and cut into small slices.
Voila! You are done.
Hard to believe but the lemon variety is even easier.
1 T. mashed potatoes + 1 cup powdered sugar – mix together
1 T. zest of a fresh lemon
2 t. juice of fresh lemon
Follow the directions for making the sweet/salty variety without adding any filling ingredients. Roll up and cut (or make into little squares like I did).
Both variations of this potato candy are easy and fun to make and can really satisfy your sweet tooth. I would love to know if my mom enjoyed them as a young girl. That would make them even sweeter.