Thursday, July 19, 2012

Potato Chip Cookies

Potato chip cookies are deliciously campy in July. You're just going to have another half a cookie, ... or ten, give or take. It's all sweet, salty fun until September, when you'd sooner eat a giant turkey leg dipped in blue shaved ice while wearing white shoes. Which is weird, when you think about it. (I'd wear sandals.) For sheer goofiness, Rice Krispies treats win hands-down, and we gladly eat them in February. M&Ms cookies are a year-round staple at the grocery store bakery. But, obviously, this rule assigning potato chip cookies to summer cannot be broken. Which means you've got about six weeks to make these cookies, so get a move on.

10 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon (big pinch) table salt
2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup chopped pecans
8 oz. salted potato chips (not potato crisps, too salty)

I suggest you start by making a couple of sandwiches. Scoop out a big handful of chips for each plate, and save the rest for the cookies. If you start with a 10-11 oz bag, you will have just the right amount. After lunch, put the chips in a zipper lock bag with most of the air pressed out and find someone to crush them with a rolling pin or something else heavy.

Cream the butter and sugars in a stand mixer for a couple of minutes on medium, then add the egg, salt and vanilla. Mix for another couple of minutes and then add the flour, baking powder and baking soda. When these are incorporated, add the nuts and half the crushed chips. Mix on low, scraping down the sides as necessary, until the chips and nuts are evenly distributed.

In a perfect world, you'd store the dough in the fridge for 24 hours before rolling balls of it in potato chip crumbs. Cookie dough takes on a more malty, savory flavor if it rests overnight. Here on planet earth, you may want to eat these cookies today. In that case, stick the dough in your freezer for half an hour to firm it up so it doesn't spread into cookie puddles in the oven.
You can also freeze the rolled cookies on a sheet, baking them as you need.
When you get around to it, drop six or eight golf balls of dough into the bowl of crushed chips. Squeeze a handful of chips into one and roll it smooth between your palms. Gently squash it into a patty shape and repeat, placing the cookies two inches apart on your greased or lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 (325 convection) for about 17 minutes. You are looking for very slightly brown edges, and an almost raw center. A five minute rest on the baking sheet will cook them through, and then you can cool on a rack.
These aren't store-between-layers-of-wax-paper cookies.They're throw-in-a-zip-top-bag cookies. You could serve them up properly.

Or just leave them in a bag on the kitchen counter. Either way, they'll disappear by tomorrow.

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