Needhams (Potato Candy)
There's potato in there? Yes, but you wouldn't know it from eating these creamy, sweet confections.
Why This Recipe Works
Also known as potato fudge or potato candy, Needhams are an heirloom candy from Maine with an unexpected twist: Their creamy, coconut-studded base is built on mashed spuds. To avoid boiling and mashing one potato, measuring it, and then discarding the excess, we instead used dried potato flakes: just ¼ cup mixed with hot milk and melted butter made the perfect amount of unseasoned mashed potatoes for the candy base. We stirred in 1½ cups of confectioners' sugar, 1½ cups of sweetened shredded coconut, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla and then let the mixture firm up in the refrigerator before cutting bite-size pieces. To create the candies' snappy-textured chocolate coating, it was essential to slowly melt the chocolate so it would recrystallize around the candies. We melted 12 ounces of finely chopped bittersweet chocolate in the microwave at 50 percent power and then added another 4 ounces of finely chopped chocolate and stirred until smooth to get the chocolate to set up once the candies were coated. A final stint in the refrigerator set the coating so it didn't melt in your hand but rather stayed snappy.