While I learned a lot in the classrooms at college, almost ten years later what I remember the most are the things I learned from my classmates and friends. We all came from different backgrounds and college was an opportunity for us to share and learn from each other. My wonderful roommate was from just outside of Philadelphia and thought that my education could not be complete if I was not exposed to all kinds of the Philadelphia specialties she grew up with. While I didn’t get to try all of them (it is not really possible to find Kosher scrapple) I did enjoy the Tasty Cakes and Yuengling beer she would bring back with her when she went home. But by far my favorite were the Irish Potatoes, a creamy coconut candy coated in cinnamon to make them resemble potatoes. I had never heard of them before, but I fell in love with them immediately. I looked forward to the annual St Patrick’s Day box her parents would send, that she was generous enough to share with me. It wasn’t until years later that it occurred to me to that I could probably make Irish Potatoes myself and looked up a recipe, only to discover they are one of the quickest easiest candies to make. I have tried dressing them up by dipping them in chocolate, but the original version, rolled in cinnamon, is by far the best. While the original recipe for Irish Potatoes calls for cream cheese (Philadelphia brand of course) this non-dairy (parve) versions leaves nothing to be desired. They are luscious, creamy and spicy, just they way they should be.
Now for the giveaway. The wonderful people at CSN stores are offering one reader a $50 gift certificate to use on one of their online sites. The sites carry all kinds of different products from kitchen wares to office desks, so I’m sure the gift certificate can be put to good use. Here is how you enter.
Leave a comment here with your favorite regional food. If you have a recipe feel free to include the link. For a second chance to win become a facebook fan and leave a comment here on this post telling me that you are a fan. (If you already are a fan just leave the comment) For a third chance follow me on twitter @couldntbeparve and leave a comment here telling me you are following. The winner will be chosen at random on Sunday, March 20th at 10:00 pm PST so feel free to leave comments until then.
UPDATE: Giveaway is now over.
Yield: approximately 90
2 tablespoons margarine, softened
4 oz tofutti cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 cups ground unsweetened coconut
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
In the bowl of a mixer beat the margarine and cream cheese together until smooth. Add the vanilla and confectioners’ sugar. Beat until smooth. Add the coconut and mix until well blended. Using a teaspoon at a time roll the mixture into balls or potato shapes. Place the balls in the cinnamon and toss to coat. Chill until set. If desired, roll potatoes in cinnamon again for darker color.