I grew up in an area where everyone’s either Irish, Italian, or both. I am Norwegian and Jewish. However, because of my surroundings, Irish Potato candies are one of my absolute favorite treats. I can’t explain what it is about these little candies… the combination of sugar and cream cheese (two of my used-to-be favorite foods), the texture of the coconut, or the dryness of the cinnamon coating. Everything about these delectable treats appeals to me; except for the dairy.
So I decided that for my first Saint Patties Day as a vegan, I deserved to make myself vegan versions of the sweet I thought I may never have again.
Vegan Irish Potatoes
Makes about 20 large candies
1/2 C Plain Vegan Cream Cheese (I used Tofutti)
1/4 C Vegan Margarine, like Earth Balance
4 C Confectioners Sugar
1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
2 1/2 C Shredded Coconut
1/4 tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Cinnamon
In a large bowl, beat the Cream Cheese and Margarine together until the mixture is creamy and well combined. Slowly add the sugar and vanilla while mixing. Beat until the mixture looks like thick frosting. Add coconut and salt and continue to mix at a high speed for about a minute.
Once completely combined, you’ll want to get a small bowl and sprinkle a generous layer of cinnamon into it. With dry hands, scoop a ping-pong ball sized scoop of the mixture into your hands and roll into a ball. The mixture will be sticky and will stick to your hands (Sorry…) Lightly roll the mixture in your palms to form a ball and then drop into the cinnamon.
Pick up the bowl and swirl it around, coating the candy in cinnamon. Once completely coated, place on a tray that is coated with wax or parchment paper (be sure to choose a tray or plate that will fit into your refrigerator.)
Continue this process until all of the mixture is used up– you may need to add more cinnamon to your bowl every couple of candies. Once you’ve used up all of the cream cheese mixture, place the tray of completed candies into the fridge for at least an hour to set.
These taste exactly how I remembered them. They’re firm but chewy, and have that distinct cinnamon-coated texture and coconut-filled center.
I couldn’t help but “sneak” a few bites…
… If you can call it sneaky. 😉
So whip up a batch of these Vegan Irish Potatoes, pour yourself a brew, and enjoy your St. Patty’s Day!