Maine Needhams

"Needhams are typical to Maine. They originated in Portland, Maine by a candy maker who had attended an evangelistic service in Portland in 1872. The evangelist's name was the Rev. George C. Needham and because of many conversions, his name was on everyone's lips. When the candy maker came back to his shop after one of the services, his candy makers were making a new candy. When he asked the name of this candy, a young candy maker said, "Call them Needhams". They are still made today, not only by the candy store, but by all of us Maine-ers who love to cook. Needhams are made with coconut and have a dark chocolate coating. They remind me of a Mound candy bar. They are delicious. This recipe halves easily, but who will want a half batch? Not me. NOTE: Someone reviewed this recipe and said that it was in "Cooking Down East". There is one there but it calls for 1/2 lb. coconut which is 8 oz. This one calls for 2 7-ounce bags or 14 ounces of coconut. If I had gotten it from this cookbook I would have given the woman credit for it, but I didn't. They are all very similar."
photo by Colleen B. photo by Colleen B.
photo by Colleen B.
photo by eagles_wings6989 photo by eagles_wings6989
Ready In:
66 candies




  • Pare, cook, and mash potato to make three-quarters of a cup.
  • Add salt.
  • Using double boiler place butter in it and melt over boiling water.
  • Add mashed potato, confectioners sugar, flaked coconut, and vanilla.
  • Mix well and turn into a buttered jelly roll pan and spread evenly.
  • Place in a cool place to harden.
  • When hard, cut into small squares.
  • For the dipping chocolate, again use a double boiler.
  • Place paraffin in the top over boiling water to melt.
  • Then add the two kinds of chocolate and allow to melt.
  • Stir well to mix ingredients.
  • Dip in the chocolate mixture (with a fork, toothpick, or cake tester--I use a fork and put the square on top of the tines and dip it, letting the excess chocolate drip off before I lay it on the waxed paper).
  • Hold each square over the chocolate mixture after dipping so the square drains well (I usually will have to reheat the chocolate inbetween dippings so it is nice and thin and drips of easily).
  • Place on waxed paper to harden.
  • Should make about 66 good sized needhams.
  • This halves easily.

Questions & Replies

default avatar
  1. ginacollins143
    What is the shelf life of these delicious candies? Thank you in advance. -gina
  2. mollie333
    can I freeze these?


  1. GaylaJ
    Fantastic candy! I think that anyone who loves coconut would love these Needhams. I made them over the holidays, and they went over very well. I lined the pan with buttered waxed paper, pressed the filling in, then laid another section of buttered waxed paper over the top. I took a slightly smaller pan and pressed it firmly and evenly on the top to make sure the filling was an even layer. I left the waxed paper pressed to the top and refrigerated overnight before proceeding. Rather than the chocolate/paraffin mix, I simply dipped in melted bittersweet chocolate. This recipe is a winner for sure--thanks for sharing it with us!
  2. minnehonk
    this is the recipe ( except double up on the coconut ) from the book "Cooking Down East" authored by Marjorie Standish, who use to publish in the "Maine Sunday Telegram" her recipes in the late 40's, I make them every Christmas for family
  3. Kathleen T.
    I have made this twice and so easy! I prefer to drop the coconut candy into the chocolate and simply turn them over and take them out! It does make a generous 66 squares and my husband eats them ALL in 24 hrs!
  4. mollie333
    can these be made ahead of time and put in freezer?
  5. mosterhout
    Question: I use wax beads for baking. What is the equivalent amount to half of a paraffin wax block, as this recipe requires?<br/><br/>Thanks so much for the trip down Maine's memory lane!


<p>John 3:3 <br />Psalm 91 <br /><br />We are born-again Christians and love the Lord Jesus Christ with all our being.? We attend a small Christian and Missionary Alliance church in our town.? <a href=></a><br /><br />My family consists of my husband who was a microbiologist but is now retired, two children (daughter and son), four grandchildren, and soon to be two great grandchildren, a girl and a boy. I homeschooled my oldest granddaughter up to a senior in high school. She is now 29 years old. My oldest grandson, who is now 25; my youngest grandson, age 20; my youngest granddaughter is in seventh-grade. Our oldest granddaughter blessed us with our first great granddaughter and soon to be great grandson.? She is the cutest little one.? I love them all. <br /><br />Hosta is my favorite plant, the only plant I own. I now have 123 varieties and they all have names. I add to them each year. I love to do cross stitch, paint, scrapbook, and rubber stamping. <br /><br />I have a rare genetic lung disase called Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (Type ZZ) that most people have not even heard about. Most doctors may have heard of it but don't know an awful lot about it and so many times it goes misdiagnosed. Feel free to z-mail me if you want to know more about it or go to the website?<a href=></a></p>
View Full Profile

Find More Recipes