Hi everyone! Sorry I have been MIA for the past two months! In addition to this being the WORST winter weather-wise (seriously, 3rd snowiest winter in Philadelphia – I think I have spent half the past two months just shoveling my driveway!), this has also been a very bad start to 2014 on a personal level. Hence, my disappearing act. Things are better now though, and with St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner I am hoping a bit of the Luck o’ the Irish will get everyone through the rest of this winter unscathed! In order to facilitate said luck, I made some Irish Potatoes and added an extra special ingredient – booze (I know, no surprise there right?)!
If you aren’t from around here you may not be aware of these delightful confections. I am obviously not talking about those spuds that grow in the ground. I am talking cream cheese, powdered sugar, coconut flakes and cinnamon. They are a traditional Philadelphia candy that look like little potatoes, and are especially popular this time of year. There is absolutely nothing Irish about them.
Until last year when I shared my Drunken Irish Potato cocktail recipe, I had no idea that people outside of the Philadelphia area may have never experienced the sweet perfection of these little treats. So this year I am making it my mission to get everyone acquainted with my little spuddy buddy, the Irish Potato.
These couldn’t be any easier to make and the taste payoff is beyond worth the minimal effort! You just mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, roll the mixture into little balls or potato shapes and then cover them in cinnamon! And then you spend the rest of the night sneaking into the fridge to grab “just one more” and furtively wiping the traces of cinnamon from your fingers. Or maybe that’s just me…
Spiked Irish Potatoes (adapted from Irish Potato Candy submitted to Allrecipes.com by Saundra)
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 of an 8 oz. package of cream cheese
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon Malibu Coconut Rum OR 1 tablespoon RumChata OR 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flaked coconut
In a medium bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the liquor of your choice (or vanilla extract if you don’t want to use alcohol) and confectioners’ sugar, one cup at a time, beating until smooth. Mix in the coconut flakes – I used my hands! – and then chill the mixture for about 20 minutes in the refrigerator. Pour a few tablespoons of ground cinnamon into a small bowl. Once the mixture has chilled, roll into small balls or potato shapes and then coat in the cinnamon. Place onto a cookie sheet and chill to set.
The addition of the coconut rum just enhances the coconut flavor in the Malibu potatoes, and the RumChata potatoes were slightly creamier with a hint of vanilla. These aren’t overwhelmingly boozy the way rum balls at Christmastime can be.
These are fun to make, and even more fun to eat! If you leave out the booze these are definitely an easy St. Patty’s Day treat that kids can help whip up; their little hands are perfect for shaping these bite sized spuds! If you have never had an Irish Potato before, give these a try and let me know what you think! I’d love to hear from any first-timers out there!
If you agree that the combination of creamy coconut and cinnamon is as awesome as I think it is, try out my liquid version – the Drunken Irish Potato!