Needhams Potato Candy

Recipe for Needhams Potato Candy
Sam Jones/Quinn Brein


1 bag (2 pounds) confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup warm mashed potatoes (plain mashed potatoes with no milk or butter added)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
1 bag (14-ounces) sweetened flaked coconut
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening


Butter a rimmed 15½x10 ½-inch baking pan (try a jellyroll pan) and set aside. (A 9x13-inch pan will also do, but the needhams will be thicker.) In a bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, add confectioners’ sugar, potatoes, melted butter, coconut, vanilla, and salt. Mix on low speed (mixture will be very dry at first) until a thick paste forms; then increase the speed for 30 seconds, or until all of the sugar is completely incorporated.

Transfer mixture to prepared pan, and press down evenly. Let mixture set and firm up at room temperature, about 1 hour. Then cut into small, even squares.

Melt unsweetened chocolate and chocolate chips in a double boiler over not-quite-simmering water until smooth; then remove from the heat and add shortening, stirring vigorously until shiny.

Place one coconut/potato square onto the tines of a fork and lower into the chocolate until coated; lift it and let the excess chocolate drip back into the pot. Transfer square to a sheet of parchment to harden, about 1 hour. Repeat with remaining squares. Store in an airtight container for up to two days for best flavor and appearance.



about 60 pieces

Preparation Time

45 Minutes

Total Time

165 Minutes

Reader Comments

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Potato Candy

Can you substitute cauliflower for the mashed potatoes. I would also substitute powdered erythritol for the sugar.

substitute cauliflower for potatoes in recipe

The Editors's picture

That would be an interesting experiment. If you try it, let us know how it turns out.