Step 1 Combine the sugar, butter, evaporated milk, cream of tartar and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Mix well and bring to a boil. Cook until the mixture reaches the soft ball stage, 234 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 8 to 10 minutes. (A few drops will form a soft ball when dropped into cold water.)
Step 2 Remove the mixture from the heat and cool to room temperature. Add the vanilla and beat until creamy and stiff. Roll the mixture into balls shaped like little potatoes, about 1 1/2 inches long. Roll each ball in the cinnamon to coat, then press in pieces of nuts to look like eyes. You can also dust the potatoes with cocoa to simulate dirt.