Halloween is a fun time for feasting on spooky treats. But why not make something wholesome and filling for little trick or treaters before they set out on their Halloween quest.
Cheesy Irish potato cakes in ghostly novelty shapes are great for dinner on October 31st.
My Irish potato cake recipe is one of the most popular posts on my blog, so I thought why not share a little variation on this recipe, using sharp, Irish cheddar cheese to add a kid-friendly tangy flavor to these little morsels.
In fact, depending on your cookie cutter selection, you could adapt this recipe to suit any holiday celebration. Candy canes and stars for Christmas, hearts for Valentines Day, and shamrocks to commemorate St. Patrick’s Day – the sky’s the limit.
Anyway, time for my Halloween specialty recipe:
The ingredients are very simple – that’s why potato cakes were popular in Ireland years ago. Even the poor could make and enjoy these cakes. Our ancestors had no onion powder, but let’s face it, our Irish taste buds just love the combination of cheese and onion (my favorite crisp or chip flavor).
- 3 cups mashed potatoes
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (1/4 cup for the dough and 1/4 cup for kneading and rolling)
- 3/4 cup of grated white cheddar cheese (I like sharp Dubliner cheese from Ireland).
- 2 oz butter (half melted for the dough and half for frying the potato cakes)
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 to 1 large beaten egg
Toss the flour and mashed potato together in a large mixing bowl.
Next season with onion powder and salt.
Mix the ingredients together using a potato masher, then add the cheese and mix it through.
Add 1 ounce of melted butter.
Add half the beaten egg. The amount of egg required to form a dough depends on how dry and floury you’re mashed potatoes are to begin with. I find Irish potatoes require more egg than American spuds.
Anyway, mix the wet ingredients through the dry to form a dough.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and sprinkle the top with more flour. Knead the dough gently.
Then roll it to about 1 inch in thickness. I make these potato cakes a little thicker than my regular potato cakes, since the cheese makes them a little softer and more prone to breakages.
Cut out shapes with novelty cookie cutters. Gather the dough scraps, re-knead and roll to cut out additional shapes.
Melt the butter over medium heat in a large skillet. I love to cook these in my cast iron pan.
Fry the potato cakes in the pan for 3 minutes on each side over medium heat. They should turn a light golden brown.
Once browned on each side I like to place the cakes on a baking tray and finish cooking them in the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, so it’ll be nice and hot once you’re ready to pop the potato cakes in.
I don’t do this for my regular potato cakes but I find the onion and cheese flavors meld beautifully after a little roasting.
We made all kinds of Halloween shapes from pumpkins to owls. My cookie cutter collection was our only limitation, and if I was a little more artistic I’m sure I could have cut out some more spooky shapes.
We made bats and ghosts. My cookie cutters for these shapes are very small, but they’re perfectly sized bites for small mouths.
My little girl loved this Halloween cat.
She loved this cat so much, a photo shoot with different plates and bowls ensued.
And Dad loved the bigger sized witch’s hat. A few witch’s hats and a steak is a satisfying Halloween meal for any man.
My West Cork granny would have had great fun serving these at Halloween. Oh, if only there were fancy cookie cutters back in her day.
Hope you enjoy this spooky Halloween side dish.
Here’s the printable recipe: