Is that a potato in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

Let’s see if you can figure out where I’m going with this.

Start: riced potato.


Add shredded coconut.


Two, yes 2 pounds of confectioner’s sugar (I know, just don’t think about it too much).

Patient folding.  More folding.  A lot of folding.

Into the fridge.

Pizza roller + ruler.  Yes, I  used a ruler.  I use them often when baking, they make me feel secure.

Back into the fridge,

A little chocolatey skinny dip.

And allow me to present:

The Needham.

So, I was sitting in traffic on PCH one weekend morning and in my channel surfing landed on a story on NPR about these candies.   Famous in Maine, they are a very much the homemade Mounds bar with a surprising ingredient: potato.  Intrigued, I tried them for myself.  And you should too.  They were fun to make and when I shared?  People lost their heads.  I’m not kidding.  Lost.  Heads.

The story behind them is also fun.  For the original broadcast, go here: Maine’s Needhams, A Sweet Treat of Earthy Potatoes.  Incidently, it wasn’t until I went to write this post that I realized the story was part of a larger series, Americandy, Sweet Land of Liberty.  I swear, my honeycomb post from last week was completely unrelated.  And yet, here it is again.  Coincidence? Karma?

If you like this, you might like these:

Coconut (Festivus) Cake 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bon Bons AKA Pete Schweedy’s Balls


New Mumford and Sons

Needham Candies

adapted from


  • 3/4 cup mashed potatoes (not seasoned) (you could easily get this amount from a single large russet potato)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 (1 lb) packages confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 (7 ounce) bags flaked coconut
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 18 ounces (about 1 1/2 packages)  chocolate chips or chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/2 paraffin wax block, the same paraffin you melt to use on top jam (2 1/2 by 2 1/2)


  1. Pare, cook, and mash potato to make three-quarters of a cup. Add salt.
  2. If you are making recipes right after boiling the potato, use the still-warm sauce pan or dutch oven. The pan should still be warm enough to melt the butter off the heat.  If not, turn on heat to low and allow butter to melt.
  3. Turn off heat and add mashed potato, confectioners sugar, flaked coconut, and vanilla.
  4. Mix well and turn into a buttered 9X13 inch pan and spread evenly.
  5. Refrigerate to harden.
  6. When hard, cut into small squares.  A pizza cutter works wonders but a knife will work too.  Ruler optional. Cutting into 1-inch squares yielded about 117 pieces.
  7. Place cut squares back into the fridge until dipping.
  8. For the dipping chocolate, again use a double boiler or place a heat-proof bowl over a sauce pan of simmering water.
  9. Add paraffin and allow to melt.
  10. Add chocolate and allow to melt.
  11. Stir well to mix ingredients.
  12. Dip in the chocolate mixture (with a fork, toothpick, or cake tester–I found it worked best when I placed a square on the tines of an upside down fork, dipped everything, let the excess run-off and then gently slid off the back of the fork with a second fork).
  13. Place on waxed paper to harden.
  14. This halves easily.