Monday, March 7, 2011

Alice's Irish Potatoes

Have you ever had an Irish Potato? For those of us who live in the Philadelphia tri-state area, Irish Potatoes are a yearly St. Patrick's Day tradition. They're as Irish as shamrocks and leprechauns! Well, actually, that's a complete lie. They're not Irish at all. Not only that, they're not even potatoes! They're these little decadent confections that only look like little potatoes. What do they have to do with Ireland? Well, many people believe the Irish Potato was created to commemorate the Irish Potato Famine of the mid 16th century. So there's your bit of trivia for the day.
  Whenever I decide to post a recipe, I always go on a search to find the RIGHT recipe. It always seems that everyone has a version of every classic recipe, so I read recipe after recipe until I find the RIGHT one. This time, however, I didn't have to search very far. I immediately thought of my dear friend Linda. She and I met a few years ago and we always have a lot of laughs together. Last year (or maybe it was the year before, I can't really remember), we were working together as we do every spring, and she brought a delightful sampling of the Irish Potatoes she had made. SO good! I could have eaten ALL of them. When I asked her about the recipe, she told me that it belonged to her very Irish Mother, Alice, who was commonly known as "The Irish Princess". Clearly, I had found the right recipe!
Well, Miss Alice, I humbly thank you! You must have been smiling down on us when Linda decided to share your recipe. And big huge thanx to Linda too!!

2 lbs powdered sugar
1/4 lb butter
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 lb sweetened shredded coconut

Simply combine all ingredients except the cinnamon.
Form into small balls.
Roll in cinnamon.

Note from Joey: This is the recipe just as Linda gave it to me, but I found it was easiest to add the sugar last. This helps to insure that all the other ingredients will be well incorporated before the mixture becomes too thick to really mix well.

Joey's tips:
After you've finished making them, you can easily store them in an airtight container in the fridge.
Oh, and here's a helpful hint: It's easier to roll the mixture into balls if you chill it for a little while. Just put the whole batch in the fridge until it firms up a little. Also, I think it helps them to look a little more like potatoes if they're not perfectly round. I like to roll them into round balls (or even little oval shapes), and then use my fingers to put a few dents in them here and there. Then roll them in cinnamon as usual. The dents wind up looking kind of like the eyes of the potato. Get it? And No, I'm not about to break into a chorus of "When Irish Eyes are Smiling"......

1 comment:

Dina said...

I just got done making these & they are SOOO DELICIOUS!!! A BIG hit with my family & a recipe that I will go to year after year!! THANK YOU Joey & THANK YOU Alice!!!... :)