Every year, since I can remember, my mother has made what she calls Southern Candy. It’s really a simple recipe and today, I am going to share with you how to make the best southern Christmas Candy.
What Is Southern Christmas Candy?
Some people may call this “potato candy”.
There are two thoughts as to how this treat came to be. One is that this southern Christmas candy came to the United States somewhere around the turn of the century. It is thought that the recipe came from Germany, with immigrants. Others believe it originated during the Great Depression.
The candy contains only two main ingredients used to make this candy: potato and powdered sugar. However, once it came to America, peanut butter was added.
This potato candy was popular with the people who settled in the Appalachia. Most were poor and couldn’t afford expensive candy. Potatoes were plentiful and the candy was easy to make.
“Candy is childhood, the best and bright moments you could have lasted forever.” – Dylan Lauren
A Family Tradition
I can honestly say, there isn’t a Christmas that I can remember without this sweet, yummy southern treat. My aunts made it and my mother always makes it. Even at 91 she comes over and still helps me make it.
It’s my turn to carry this tradition on.
Do I think my three boys will carry-on and make it?
I’d say time will tell, but I will definitely teach my beautiful daughter-in-laws how to make it!
- One russet potato
- Powdered sugar
- peanut butter
- wax paper or parchment paper
Wash your potato and boil fully cooked. Once cooked let the potato cool. I sometimes put mine in a bowl of cold water. If you boil the potato earlier in the day you can let it cool on it’s own. It just takes longer doing it that way.
After potato has cooled removed the skin. I scrape it off with a sharp knife. It will peel back easily.
In a mixing bowl remove 1/4 of the meat from the potato. Begin mashing it with a fork until you get a smooth consistency. Some people use a mixer but I never do. My mother used a fork and that’s the way I do it.
If you use more than a 1/4 of the potato it will become too big and hard to work with.
This means you can make more than one dough ball from the potato you cook.
When you finish mashing the potato, add the 1/4 tsp of vanilla.
You’ll need a sifter for the next step. Begin sifting the powdered sugar to the mashed potato. The mixture will first become a creamy consistency. Continue mixing until you have used all the powdered sugar and it becomes a dough. I say three cups, however, you may need more or less depending on the size of the piece of potato you started with.
Gather the dough into a ball or oblong shape and sprinkle with powder sugar. I create an oblong shape because it seems easier for me to roll.
Sprinkle your parchment paper with powdered sugar. Then roll the dough out.
You will want to roll the dough out as thin as you can. Using a thick dough will make it too sweet.
Spread a coat of peanut butter over the dough. Next, carefully start to roll up the candy just like a pumpkin or jelly roll.
Refridgerate for two hours to let the roll harden. After it has cooled you can cut into thin slices and serve.
Southern Christmas Candy
- 1 Russet Potato
- 3 Cups Powdered Sugar
- 1/4 tsp Vanilla
- 1 Cup Peanut Butter Smooth or crunchy will work
- Step 1 – Boil the potato until fully cooked and then let cool.
- Step 2 – After potato has cooled removed the skin. I scrape it off with a sharp knife. It will peel back easily.
- Step 3- In a mixing bowl remove 1/4 of the meat from the potato. Begin mashing it with a fork until you get a smooth consistency. Some people use a mixer but I never do. My mother used a fork and that's the way I do it.**If you use more than a 1/4 of the potato it will become too big and hard to work with.
- Step 4 – Begin adding the powdered sugar to the potato. Mix until you have used all the powdered sugar and it becomes a dough. Gather the dough into a ball or oblong shape. Sprinkle your parchment paper with powdered sugar. Then roll the dough out.
- Step 5 – Spread a coat of peanut butter over the dough. Next, carefully start to roll up the candy just like a pumpkin or jelly roll.
- Step 6 – Refridgerate for two hours to let the roll harden. After it has cooled you can cut into thin slices and serve.
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The Best Southern Christmas Candy Made Simple
I love this southern candy but I will tell you it is very rich! A small piece is all you need.
May your Christmas be merry and bright…and have a little candy!
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I have never heard of this candy before. Kim, I cannot wait to try it.
I hope you get to try it! It is definitely a sweet treat!!
Brendt Blanks says
I love this, Kim, and planning on trying it.
Thank you for sharing…pinned!
Thank you, Brendt! Happy weekend!
Wendy McMonigle says
This sounds so interesting Kim, I will have to try it. I am a big lover of anything with peanut butter..
It is so sweet and bursting with peanut butter! I hope you get to try it!
AnnMarie Christiano says
These look so delicious! Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe! Pinned.
I know! I can’t wait to try them all!
Kim | Shiplap and Shells says
This looks so delicious Kim! I can’t wait to share your recipe on my Saltwater Sounds post this Sunday.
Thanks, I appreciate that so much, Kim!! Hope you have an amazing new week!
Alby Jo Furlong says
Thank you for the candy recipe. My mother used to make it. I have tried to make the candy with a potato but the recipe did not mention using only 1/4 of the potato.
Now I will be able to make the candy like my mother used to make. It’s only taken me 75 years. But..better late than never. I will be passing this recipe down to my daughters and granddaughters.
Again, thank you so very much,
Awe, I’m so glad to hear this! I hope it turns out great! It’s such a wonderful treat for the holiday. Merry Christmas!