Potato Candy – An old-fashioned favorite

Published 3:01 pm Friday, December 29, 2023

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While technically not a cookie, this recipe holds a special place in my childhood holiday memories. My mother made it for me and her mother made it for her.

Originating from European immigrants to the Appalachian region, this recipe became a popular Depression-era treat due to the short list of inexpensive ingredients it requires.


  • One large Russet potato – peeled, cooked, mashed and cold
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 package powdered sugar (amounts vary)
  • Parchment paper
  • Creamy peanut butter

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1) In a large bowl, stir together potatoes, vanilla, milk and salt

2) With a fork, sprinkle in powdered sugar, pressing it into the potato a little at the time

3) Continue adding sugar until the potato until a firm dough is formed

4) Sprinkle a thin coating of powdered sugar onto parchment paper and flatten the dough out with your hands.

5) Cover dough with parchment paper and roll out dough until it is even

6) Chill dough for 5 minutes

7) Spread 1/4 cup peanut butter evenly onto dough

8) From the long side, carefully roll into a log and wrap well in wax paper. 

9) Chill for at least 2 hours

10) Cut dough into 1/2 inch rounds and serve.

If this recipe sounds like a great deal of effort, it is, but it is well worth every minute. 

The process is perfect for a family fun afternoon of cooking together. It’s a southern tradition worth passing down to children and grandchildren.