Needhams – Maine Potato Candy

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Christmas will soon be here and there are so many things that need to be done. Most things of course revolve around food prep!  My family has a tradition of having a candy making day. Our friends come over and we all stand around the kitchen making holiday delectables such as fudge, peanut butter balls,  butter crunch and a Maine favorite, Needhams.

Needhams are considered a traditional Maine candy. The little known ingredient in these scrumptious treats is potatoes, hence it’s nickname Maine Potato Candy. Maine is typically known for it’s blueberry crops and lobsters, however Maine has a really strong potato crop as well! Needhams were created in Portland, Maine by candy maker Rev. George S. Needham in 1872.  Tasting almost like a Mounds candy bar, but without the nuts, traditional Mainers have been making them ever since.

I grew up loving Needhams. My mother used to make them every Christmas, just like her grandmother did when she was young. It really wouldn’t be Christmas without them. So without further ado, here is my recipe for Needhams. I hope you love them as much as I do!

 

Needhams

needhams

Ingredients:

  • ¾ c. unseasoned mashed potato
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 lbs confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 stick butter (1/4 lb)
  • 8 oz flaked coconut
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 (12 oz.) pkg. chocolate chips

 

Instructions

Filling
  1. Peel potatoes and cut into cubes.
  2. Add potatoes to a 2 quart pot with water and add salt.
  3. Boil potatoes until soft.
  4. Drain and place in bowl.
  5. Mash potatoes with 1 stick melted butter
  6. Add confectioner’s sugar, coconut, and vanilla.
  7. Mix well.
  8. Spread the mixture out on waxed paper or a buttered cookie sheet.
  9. Place in fridge to cool til firm.
  10. Cut into small squares or candybar shape and dip into the chocolate mixture
  11. Place on waxed paper to cool.
Coating
  1. Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler over simmering water
  2. Dip each piece of candy in the chocolate  -use a fork and dip it, letting the excess chocolate drip off before laying it on waxed paper to harden

Enjoy!

 

 

Beth is the owner of the blog Musing Mainiac. She lives with her husband, 3 children, a dog and cat in the beautiful state of Maine. She thoroughly enjoys cooking and does it as often as she can.

 

About Beth Larrabee

Beth is a Maine mom of 3 and has been married for 14 years. When she isn't in the kitchen trying out a new recipe, she can be found blogging at Musing Mainiac.