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Needhams (Potato Candy)

Submitted by: brookdale on December 6, 2011
1 vote, average: 5.00 out of 51 vote, average: 5.00 out of 51 vote, average: 5.00 out of 51 vote, average: 5.00 out of 51 vote, average: 5.00 out of 5
Needhams (Potato Candy)

An old-fashioned Maine holiday candy. I remember my grandmother making these.
The recipe is adapted from “Cooking Down East” by Marjorie Standish.
Two batches are shown in the picture.

Difficulty: Easy

Servings: 40-50 pieces, depending on size

Prep Time: about 1 hr, not including cooling   Cook Time: ~ 5 min  


3/4 cup mashed potato (1 or 2 potatoes)
7 c sifted powdered sugar
1/4 pound butter (1 stick)
1/2 pound flaked coconut (2 c)
2 teaspoons vanilla

12 ounces semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips (1 pkg) I like the dark chocolate.
1 Tbsp shortening


Pare, cook and mash the potatoes to make 3/4 cup.

In microwave, melt the butter. Add it to the mashed potato, powdered sugar, flaked coconut and vanilla, in a big bowl. Mix well.

Spread the mixture evenly about 1/2 in. thick on a small buttered cookie sheet. Place in a cool place to harden‚ÄĒa cool garage or back porch in the winter works well. When hard, cut the mixture into approx. 1 1/2 in. squares and dip in the chocolate mixture.

Melt chocolate and shortening together in microwave for 1 min. Stir well. Melt for 15-30 sec. more if needed, and stir again.

Keep mixture warm. Dip the needham squares in the chocolate with a fork and place on waxed paper on a cookie sheet. Put in a cool place to harden.

Makes about 40-50 good-sized needhams. The recipe may be cut in half.

Categories: Candy, Old-Fashioned


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  1. 12-18

    When you say 3/4 cup mashed potatoes, is that with salt, butter and milk or is it just plain potatoes that you mash up like you do a banana for banana bread?

    Looks yummy!

    • 12-19

      Just plain potatoes…sorry, I guess I didn’t make that clear in the recipe.
      Just boil or bake a couple med. size potatoes, peel if needed and mash them up.
      I boil them, already peeled and cut up, in the microwave for about 7-8 min, then mash well.

      • 12-19

        Thanks so much for the reply!
        I’d never seen these type candies prepared before, so I had no clue about prepping them.

        Thank you for sharing this recipe. They look really good.

  2. 12-31

    We made this recipe when I was a child- but added peppermint and shaped them like peppermint patties (roll in a ball then flatten slightly) before dipping in chocolate. Homemade peppermint patties. We had these every Christmas. We used knitting needles to dip them – to leave only a tiny mark from the dipping.

    • 1-24

      The peppermint sounds very good, will have to try that next year. And knitting needles to dip…what a great idea! The dipping is the hardest part I think.

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