Prep Time: 45 min.
Cook Time: 2 hr. 45 min.
Yield: 60 pieces
1 2-pound bag confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup plain mashed potato, warm
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
1 14-ounce bag sweetened flaked coconut
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon table salt
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 12-ounce bag semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
Butter a rimmed 15½x10 ½-inch baking pan (or a jellyroll pan) and set aside. (A 9x13-inch pan will also do, but the Needhams will be thicker.)
In a large bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer, add the sugar, potato, melted butter, coconut, vanilla, and salt. Mix on low speed (mixture will be very dry at first) until a thick paste forms; then increase the speed for 30 seconds, or until all of the sugar is completely incorporated.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan, and press down evenly. Let the mixture set and firm up at room temperature, about 1 hour. Then cut into small, even squares.
Melt the chocolate and the chips in a microwave until smooth; about a 90 seconds, then add the shortening, stirring vigorously until shiny. Now place one square onto the tines of a fork and lower into the chocolate until coated; lift it and let the excess chocolate drip back into the pot.
Transfer the square to a sheet of parchment to harden, about 1 hour. Repeat with the remaining squares.
Store in an airtight container for up to two days for best flavor.
MAINE RECIPES > DESSERTS > PORTLAND NEEDHAMS
COURTESY OF GAYWEDDINGSINMAINE.COM
Potatoes are the “Maine” ingredient in Needhams -- a favorite old-fashioned candy which is typical to Maine. They originated in Portland by a candy maker in 1872. They are still made the same way today, not only by candy stores, but also by those of us Mainers who love to cook. They taste similar to a Mounds candy bar, but not as sweet. They are typically a homemade holiday treat and are utterly irresistible & delicious.