Hey guys! I’m back after a much needed break. I’ve been going hard on here for over a year! Can you guys believe it? And I have to admit, lately I’ve been feeling overwhelmed. This blog has opened up so many things for me, and I’m not just talking opportunities, it has made me realize my passion for photography, social justice, and mental health. Mental health being the reason why I took a break.
As more time goes on, I constantly set myself to hire standards for this blog, making it become more stressful then fun. When I first started this blog it gave me so much purpose, but then as time went on and my standards for my writing and my photos started to rise, I found myself more and more stressed. I started worrying about not having the right props to portray a certain scene, not having a enough words in my blog post to show up in a Google Search, not having enough time to explore the restaurant and shops that I wanted to showcase.
Then on top of this I decided to take on other side projects, like working with my community and stretching my photography wings by including portraits into my photography repertoire. That’s when I came to realize how stressful this all became, I decided to cut the fat and only focus on what’s important. That’s right, I Marie Kondo’d that shit, and if it didn’t bring me joy, then I cut it out. What was left was my photography portfolio and this blog. That’s right this blog still sparks joy for me, even though it can cause me stress, it still gives me so much purpose. I’ve learned to prioritize my other passions around it. I’m also going to try to be more open, honest, and vulnerable on here. Because I know that it has to be comforting for someone else out there who reads this blog to know that I struggle too. And if reading this made just one person feel better, then I’ve completed what I set out to do.
But enough of the personal stuff and back to why you’re really here. For the Irish Potatoes, which really don’t have potatoes in them at all.
Being from Delco, PA, March meant three things…Shamrock Shakes, St. Patty Day bar crawls, and Irish Potatoes. I’m not talking the things that grow in the ground. I’m talking about a little ball of coconut and cream cheese covered in cinnamon, so that it actually resembles an Irish potato. I remember making these when I was in Girl Scouts as a kid, but then I never made them after that. You didn’t need too, as soon as we turned the calendar to March, every grocery store in town had them. The most popular brand being Oh Ryan’s, they are based out of Boothwyn which was the next town over from where I grew up.
After I moved to Massachusetts and had my first St. Patrick’s Day here, imagine my horror, my surprise, my shock that we did not have Irish Potatoes. I thought, surely this was a mistake, but alas after a half a dozen failed trips to the store, they were never put out. That’s when I decided that I couldn’t let my beloved tradition of getting drunk and eating cream cheese filled candies die. That’s when I started making my own. One year I made them from my son’s class, deciding that even though it was a Delco tradition there was no reason for them to miss out on the fun. My son actually helps me make them, it’s actually a really fun recipe to make with the kids. It helps their fine motor skills by rolling the little candies into a ball and it’s also really fun to roll them in the cinnamon. Plus if there’s no nuts so kids with nut allergies can actually enjoy them too.
Irish Potato Candy
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter softened
4 oz cream cheese softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
16 oz powdered sugar about 4 cups
7 oz sweetened flaked coconut 2 1/2 cups
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and add ground cinnamon to a small bowl. Set both aside.
Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer + large bowl), cream together butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth, about 5-7 minutes.
Reduce mixer speed to low. Add vanilla extract, then beat for 30 seconds.
Keeping speed on low, slowly scoop in powdered sugar, adding about 1/3 to 1/2 cup at a time and beating thoroughly between each addition.
Turn off mixer and remove bowl. Pour in flaked coconut and use a spatula (or your hands) to knead the ingredients together.
Using a 1 teaspoon cookie scoop, scoop out dough and roll it between your hands to form a ball. Drop the ball in the small bowl of cinnamon and roll to coat. Place finished candy ball on prepared baking sheet. Repeat this step until all dough has been used.
Place dough in the freezer and let chill for 1 hour or until the candy has set. If desired, roll candy in cinnamon again for a fresh, powdery coat.
Serve candy immediately. Candy can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.