Haphazard

I’ll cook anything. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, and I don’t mind serving the disasters. There is always someone in the family who will eat the remnants of a recipe gone awry.

I come by this naturally. If Mom’s chocolate cake fell flat, she’d dust it with powder sugar, cut it into squares and swear she was making brownies all along.

My first pumpkin pie featured a hard-boiled egg. I was twelve, maybe thirteen and I figured if I minced that egg . . .

Well, Dad ate that pie.

Dad ate everything. As a newlywed, he made the mistake of telling Mom that his mother made fluffier biscuits. He had to wait until I was old enough to bake before he enjoyed another one. Flat, charred, it didn’t matter. Dad became a professional kitchen cheer leader.

I baked. He ate.

I destroyed the kitchen. He returned it to it’s former glory.

I’m hit and miss, so it’s astonishing when I’m asked to bake a wedding cake. My niece is brave. Very brave. I tell her she can have as much input as she likes, but I never know where I’ll wind up.

Cake turned out pretty good and it was an act of satisfaction when I drove a stake through the heart of the monster to keep it upright. Brat made the hummingbirds. I made the flowers which pinned those birds to the cake and made it look like their wings hadn’t fallen off – repeatedly.

And in the spirit of the season, I want to share my ultra-favorite, fail-proof (really, I mean it) chocolate candy recipe. It’s a great conversation starter as no one can figure out the secret ingredient.

Here goes.

Peel, boil and mash one small, fist-sized potato ( I don’t know if it matters, but I use a russet.)

In a large bowl with that itty, bitty mashed potato, add powdered sugar. The potato will liquify and you will add more powdered sugar than you ever imagined. Maybe two pounds will do, but I always have an extra bag on hand.

Keep going until the mixture is firm enough to form into balls. You don’t need anything else, but you can add flavored extracts. It’s a weird thing, but once these babies are covered in chocolate their flavor deepens and you don’t get that powdered sugar taste. No really!

So, coat the balls in the chocolate of your choice and then either leave them plain, or roll them into crushed peppermints, nuts, coconut, anything you can think of. Let them firm and enjoy.

Kids love to make these and adults can’t figure them out. Win. Win.

This recipe came from an old cookbook titled something like Pioneer Candy . . .

I miss that slim little book. My waistline might be happy I let it go.

20 Replies to “Haphazard”

  1. The cake is amazing, and the groom’s cake is adorable, and your niece’s dress is breathtaking!
    Potato in a candy? Whoa, I never would have guessed. So do you keep them in the fridge or on a dessert stand at room temp?

    1. OH my gosh, I have no idea! They never lasted long but I don’t remember ever putting them in the fridge. Priscilla, there’s a reason I have never been accused of being helpful with instructions. 🙂

  2. Well, well, well! I’m impressed with both cakes. And I like the fillings mentioned. I spied the hummingbird as well. Applauding you, Chef Extraordinaire!
    Your niece looks gorgeous and her dress is divine.
    Btw, your dad sounds a blessing! You are definitely blessed that he happily eats all that you bake.
    Your Candy recipe is intriguing.
    Thanks for a funny and enjoyable post!

  3. Hey, I made those potato chocolate balls with my mom fifty years ago! And haven”t heard anything about them since. As I recall they were quite good! Thanks for the memories . . .

  4. You’re amazing. That’s all I have to say about that. (…except for the hummingbirds with the wings that fell off, repeatedly…oh my gosh. Laughing out loud.)

      1. I’m going to have to go back and reread your post. My memory, you know? I know it will be MORE than worth it to do so! ❤️

  5. My daughter loves to cook and I gladly eat the mixed result experiments and clean up the mess! Surprisingly hubby’s family makes something called potato candy. It’s confectioners sugar and mashed potato rolled out flat, spread with peanut butter, and then rolled up again, and sliced into pretty pieces with the peanut butter swirl showing. I was in charge of spreading the peanut butter this holiday, but no one ever asks me to roll it😂 It’s definitely not a recipe that slims the waistline, but it does have a little nutrition!

    1. Nice! It’s always great to have a kitchen champion. I bet your daughter has a great time. And now, thanks to you and your husband’s family, I have a new spin for potato candy. Have a great day!.

  6. Your niece wanted love on the table as well as beauty! Love both cakes.
    Gwen.

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