Making Chocolate-Coconut Mashed-Potato Candy Using Thanksgiving Leftovers
What Are You Thankful For?
Next week in the United States, our thoughts will be 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.
- 3/4 cup mashed potatoes
- 1 lb. flaked coconut (about 4 cups)
- 1 lb. confectioners sugar, sifted
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 ounces paraffin
- Combine mashed potatoes, flaked coconut, confectioners sugar, and almond extract. Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls on waxed paper. Roll into balls and refrigerate 1/2 to 1 hour. If mixture is too soft to form balls, refrigerate first, then shape balls.
- To make coating, melt chocolate chips and paraffin in top of double boiler. Heat and stir until smooth.
- Dip balls in coating, turning to coat on all sides. Keep chocolate over hot water while dipping candy. With tongs or forks, lift balls out of chocolate onto waxed paper or cake rack. Place candies in refrigerator to harden.
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© 2013 Linda Lum