Sunday, November 18, 2012

potato chip cookies

Happy hour arrived at four or five in the afternoon at my grandparents' house.

A big bowl of ripple chips and a smaller bowl of salsa would appear on the table. Granddad would start pouring drinks: rye and ginger ale for the grown ups, plain ginger ale for the kids.

With dinner just around the corner, I generally couldn't believe my luck. There I was, being served pop and chips  two commodities that weren't exactly free-flowing at home.

Somehow, the ripple chips were just the right thing with a bit of salsa and ginger ale. After all, I would have spent a hard afternoon digging in the sand at the beach or playing in the yard with my cousins, trying not to step on the brittle grass with my bare feet.

All of this leads me to . . . potato chip cookies. I feel like I remember eating these cookies at Grandma's, but I don't know for sure.

I found this recipe in my Grandma's 1970s church "COOK BOOK," which includes gems like gumdrop cookiessour cream coffee cake and applesauce spice cake. Grandma's good friend, Betty Rennison, submitted the recipe for potato chip cookies.

I mean, they definitely taste like a treat at my grandparents' house. For one thing, they contain the ripple chip. The ripple chip is subtle here: it gives a new kind of crunch and a hint of a salty flavour.

Besides the potato chips, these cookies do not have any bells and whistles. In fact, they only have five ingredients (six, with my tinkering). But they make a rich, buttery cookie . . . almost like shortbread with little bits of crushed ripple chips strewn through it.

They are  obviously  already very good eaten in the late afternoon with a cup of tea or just before bed when you have the nibbles. I think they'd also be ideal on a plate of assorted Christmas cookies.

Oh, and I haven't even told you the fun part yet! (Although it's possible you may have already used a pictorial clue to guess it.)

It is this: how often do you get to start making cookies by taking out your rolling pin and rolling a bag of chips?

Right. That's what I thought.

Old-fashioned recipes are so fun.

one year ago: roasted tomato soup and asiago lace
two years ago: butter tarts and walnut slug cookies

potato chip cookies
adapted from betty rennison
bakes about 50 small cookies

100 g. (heaping 1 1/2 c. when crushed) ripple potato chips
200 g. (3/4 c. + 2 tbsp.) butter, at room temperature
120 g. (1/2 c.) sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
245 g. (1 3/4 c.) wheat flour
     or - gluten-free flours:
     50 g. sweet white sorghum flour
     45 g. oat flour*
     75 g. sweet rice flour
     75 g. tapioca starch
     1/2 tsp. guar or xanthan gum
coarse sea salt

Prepare 3 baking trays with parchment paper. Set aside.

Take out a big cutting board and rolling pin. Use a small knife to prick a couple holes in the chip bag. Lay it on the board. Roll it until the chips are quite fine. Pour the chips onto the board. If they still need to be finer, roll them directly with the rolling pin. Set aside.

Beat the butter and sugar for a couple of minutes until it's light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla. Set aside.

If you're using gluten-free flours, whisk them together well. Stir well into butter mixture. Mix in the crushed potato chips.

Drop by the teaspoon-full onto the prepared trays. Use a fork dipped in cold water to flatten them a bit (not too much or they'll spread too much later). Sprinkle 3  5 grains of sea salt on top, as desired. Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for about 15 minutes. They will puff up and look more set, but only colour slightly around the edges. Let them cool on the pan for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a rack to finish cooling.

Store in an air-tight container. Serve with potato chips if you're feeling fun.

*Make sure this is an oat flour that specifies it is wheat-free. If you can't tolerate oat flour, you could try brown rice flour instead.

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