by Kathleen Walck

This week, in my local bin from Pure Sprouts, I was greeted with a plethora of root vegetables–turnips, rutabagas, celeriac, and of course that old standby, the humble potato.  Naturally we can bake them, fry them, saute them, and even have them in salads but for dessert?  Oh yes.

I’ve heard lots of talk about mashed potato cookies (or candy, depending on the recipe’s source) made by grandmothers of yore, but I don’t recall mine ever making this.  It sounded interesting and naturally gluten free so I wanted to make it.

Mashed Potato Cookies 015Yes, I know, this is the time of year when sugar is given the stink eye and cookies have been banned from the pantry, but honestly, it’s hard shrugging off all manner of treats.  Thankfully, this recipe makes a small batch of cookies, so you should be ok with sticking to your resolutions, even if you cheat just a bit.  Just give them to those around you who declare easier resolutions like “getting organized” or “spending less money on shoes.”

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The best thing about this recipe is that it’s a no-bake one that uses just one bowl.  And if you enjoyed your mashed potatoes the night before, you can use up some of your leftovers.


(makes 2 dozen small cookies)


  • 1/2 cup plain mashed potatoes
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans (optional, and you can use whatever nuts you prefer)
  • zest of 1 lemon, plus 1 tsp of its juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • wax paper
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Cook your potato (if it isn’t already cooked) in the microwave for 5 minutes or until soft.  Peel off the skin with a spoon.

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Place the hot potato in a large bowl with the butter and mash with a fork until no lumps remain.

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Mix in the vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice.  With a hand beater, blend in the confectioner’s sugar until smooth,

Mashed Potato Cookies 007then the coconut until fluffy.

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Fold in the nuts, if you’re using them.

Mashed Potato Cookies 011You could also sprinkle them on top if you prefer, once you drop the cookies onto the sheet.

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Drop by teaspoonful onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.

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Refrigerator for 30 minutes, then enjoy.  You could also freeze them or keep them at room temperature, whichever you prefer.

Mashed Potato Cookies 016Though these were a tad sweet for my taste, just one would satisfy a craving for something sugary.  I’m not sure one could make them less sweet, since you rely on the powdered sugar to bind them together, but I might experiment sometime with almond flour in place of some of the sugar.  I also think they’d be good with chocolate chips and cocoa powder instead of the lemon and nuts, but that’s a recipe for another day.

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