Happy April Fools Day for tomorrow Dear Readers! I know, I had you worried there for a moment didn't I? And if I am to be honest with myself, I need to admit that a reader might find any sort of strange concoction when they visit here but most especially on April Fools Day.
I realise that I have an odd sense of humour and one that tends towards the strange and dark but when I first saw these they tickled my toes so hard that I couldn't stop giggling. Yes I am also sadly the person that laughs at inopportune times. You know when you're having a gravely serious discussion but your mind wanders off and before you know it you've made some strange connection in your head and you giggle or smile. But as it's a serious or business-like discussion people look at you as though you're entirely inappropriate. That's me.
A couple of months ago I was travelling with a bunch of journalists in a rural area of Australia. They were all lovely and one was a particularly strong maternal type who missed her children. We drove past a country style church that had all sorts of bric a brac and household goods for sale out the front. She pointed out a pram and smiled and said what a gorgeous item it was. I too was excited and I sat up. You see I really love vintage prams.
"I wish we could stop for it!" I said wistfully, the pram now disappearing in the rear view mirror rapidly.
Surprised at my uncharacteristic maternal utterance she turned and looked at me "You want a pram?"
"Ooh yes! I really want a vintage one to put a wolf baby creature in for Halloween!!" I exclaimed excitedly clapping my hands.
There was silence in the van and mouths were agape not quite knowing what to say.
"Oops inside thoughts..." I thought to myself.
Anyway these candies I hope won't leave people as speechless or label me crazy. In fact they're not made of potato at all but cream cheese, pecans and icing sugar blended up and beaten together. They're then rolled in cinnamon powder and studded with tiny pecan pieces to resemble potato "eyes". I ask you with these ingredients, how could they go wrong? They are ridiculously easy to make and whilst very sweet are absolutely delicious with the toasted nuts and cinnamon. And I promise you, there's no potato flavour to speak of, just looks! I saw these on Sue's adorable site for St Patrick's Day where they were called "Irish Potatoes" and she got them from Martha Stewart. Tomorrow I'll pack Mr NQN off to work with this brown paper bag of "potato candy". I wonder what sort of reception he will get? I dare you to take these into work tomorrow! ;)
So tell me Dear Reader, do you think you have a strange sense of humour?
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Makes about 20 x 1 inch "potatoes"
30g /1oz room temperature softened butter
60g/2 ozs cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
a pinch of salt
90g pecans, toasted (or walnuts)
250grams/half a pound of icing or confectioners sugar
1-2 tablespoons ground cinnamon for rolling
Step 1 - Beat the butter, cream cheese, vanilla extract and salt with a paddle attachment until combined and smooth, about 2 minutes.
Step 2 - In a food processor blitz the icing sugar until you get rid of all of the lumps. Add this to the cream cheese mixture. Take out one pecan from the nuts and blitz the remaining nuts and add this too and then mix together until combined. Refrigerate for about 1 hour until firm. While it is in the fridge you can chop up the remaining pecan as this will make your potato "eyes".
Chop up a pecan finely to make the "eyes"
The nutty mixture once beaten together and refrigerated
Step 3 - Remove from fridge and sprinkle the cinnamon powder onto a shallow plate or bowl. Take about a teaspoon of the mixture and roll it in your hands to make a rough potato shape and then roll it in the cinnamon and then place a couple of "eyes" on the potato. These need to be refrigerated and are best when chilled as they keep their shape then.