It is a taste that cannot beat. A taste that shouts Christmas and invokes memories of childhood. It is the amazing taste of homemade candies. Think that making candy is way too hard and you just don’t have that kind of time this Christmas? Well think again!! The Christmas candy recipe I am about to share with you is so easy anyone can do it, even those who have no clue how to cook. Needhams have been loved and eaten for Christmas and any other holiday or non-holiday we can think of for many generations in our family. As a matter of fact Needhams are a very popular candy among many old New England families. However, before you balk at its main ingredient, potato, think about this small fact………the finished product actually tastes exactly like Mounds bars. Add some almonds and it tastes exactly like an Almond Joy bar. But either way that you slice it I can guarantee that you have never tasted a potato like this one!!
Christmas Coconut Needhams
In a bowl thoroughly mix the following, in exact order.
¾ cup cold mashed potatoes (I’m lazy so I make up instant potato flakes!!)
4 cups confectionary sugar
4cups flaked coconut chopped fine
1 ½ tsp vanilla
Grease a small pan about 9×9 in measurement and set aside.
To a small bowl add either 4 squares of baking chocolate or one bag semi-sweet baking bits. Place this in the microwave and melt. Make sure you check the chocolate after every minute or less to insure it melts and doesn’t burn. Chocolate bits melted in the microwave will often retain their shape so don’t be fooled. Stir them to see if they dissolve or not before continuing to microwave.
Once the chocolate is liquid, pour half into the bottom of your pan. Let this get hard in the fridge before proceeding. Once the bottom layer has hardened a bit use your hands to mush the potato mixture into the pan. Now re-melt the remaining chocolate and pour over the top of the potato mixture. If you like almonds in your Needhams, place some slivered ones on top of the potato mixture prior to pouring on the melted chocolate.
Place your candy back in the fridge until the top layer of chocolate is hard and the middle layer is firm. Use a very sharp knife to cut into fudge size squares. Plate and watch them disappear fast!!
One final hint, to clean out your microwave bowl easily and tastily, add a cup of milk to the dirty bowl. Place in the microwave for up to two minutes or until the milk begins to bubble. Remove from the microwave and stir. The chocolate will fall from the sides of the bowl and mix with the milk creating a tasty hot coco. Add some mini marshmallows and reward yourself for a job well done!!