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Making Chocolate-Coconut Mashed Potato Candy Using Thanksgiving Leftovers

Linda enjoys searching for fascinating travel destinations, seeking relaxation and fun, and (of course) eating great food.

Follow this recipe for a dessert using mashed potatoes!

Follow this recipe for a dessert using mashed potatoes!

What Are You Thankful For?

Earlier this week in the United States, our thoughts were focused on things for which we are thankful: God, family, friends, shelter, security, and health, to name a few. All of those are top of the list. But then, one's thoughts tend to diverge to the creature comforts like cars, toys, and computer games.

For me, the vacuum, dishwasher, and self-cleaning oven are pretty high on the list . . . and potatoes.

I thank the Spaniards for potatoes.

Long Ago and Far Away

Four centuries ago, potatoes were discovered in the Andes and taken home to Europe. Since then, over a thousand potato species have been cultivated and have become an integral part of much of the world's cuisine. Potatoes are the 4th largest food crop, following rice, wheat, and corn.

And the best potato dish in the world? Mashed potatoes, of course. They can be rustic red bliss potatoes with the skin left on, hand-mashed with a lump or two remaining for character; ethereal, buttery russets riced and bathed in cream; or the outrageously decadent French aligot of Yukon golds, garlic, and cheese.

(And, if you're a child of the '60s, you will remember that the Contours and James Brown let us dance to them.)

Can There Be Too Much?

Despite my adoration of creamy taters, I know that I will have leftover mashed potatoes in my fridge. Yes, I can rewarm them, stir them into a creamed soup as a thickener, form them into mashed potato patties (my girls' favorite) . . . or I can go totally crazy and make candy!

Yup, candy. In the early 1960s, Betty Crocker had an outrageous (i.e., genius) idea for using leftover mashed potatoes. She made chocolate-coated candy.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

1 hour 30 min

10 min

1 hour 40 min

about 5 dozen candies


  • 3/4 cup mashed potatoes
  • 1 pound flaked coconut (about 4 cups)
  • 1 pound confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 ounces paraffin


  1. Combine mashed potatoes, flaked coconut, confectioners sugar, and almond extract. Drop in heaping teaspoonfuls on waxed paper. Roll into balls and refrigerate for 1/2 to 1 hour. If the mixture is too soft to form balls, refrigerate first, then shape the balls.
  2. To make the coating, melt chocolate chips and paraffin in the top of a double boiler. Heat and stir until smooth.
  3. Dip the balls in the coating, turning to coat on all sides. Keep the chocolate over hot water while dipping the candy. With tongs or forks, lift the balls out of the chocolate and onto waxed paper or a cake rack. Place the candies in the refrigerator to harden.

© 2013 Linda Lum