I’m going to be upfront about it: these cookies have absolutely no redeeming nutritional value (except for some walnuts), but they’re sure tasty and fun to make. And while sometimes it’s a good idea to be all health-food sincere and well-intentioned in our cookie making, using whole wheat flour, fruit and nuts, cutting back on the sugar, sneaking in lentils and ground flax, and other tricks of the cram-in-the-nutrients trade, sometimes we just want a not particularly good for you, downright treat of a biscuit. So, I won’t apologize for the fact this recipe includes not just lots of butter and sugar, but also potato chips.
Yes, potato chips. It’s hard to make a potato chip cookie without them.
And remember I said they’re fun to make? Not only is it an easy-peasy dough, but you get to crush up potato chips. I pulverized mine in my palms, which made me feel tough. Grrrrr. Then you get to roll that batter into little balls and shape them into discs. And then you get to smush them down! There’s lots of playing with sugar involved, too.
Now, when I was a kid, the smushing was done with a water glass that had a patterned bottom. It was satisfying and effective, but now that I’m a big kid I have better toys. Like these cast aluminum Heirloom Cookie Stamps from Nordic Ware. What fun to have three different patterns (waffle, shell and flower) to chose from. Better than a boring old glass!
Although I oiled the cookie stamps, I had trouble with the dough sticking initially. Then I remembered that when I made these cookies as a kid, I dipped the bottom of the glass in sugar. Once I dipped the cookie stamps into sugar and tapped off the extra, I was able to press the cookies and gingerly shake them off onto the tray. (Yes, more sugar. See Paragraph One.)
And one more note about the stamps: normally I make cookies with a single tablespoon scoop of dough. In order to completely stamp out the patterns (especially the flower), I found I needed to double the amount of dough. No problem though; I should just eat half as many cookies, right?
I also enjoyed using Nordic Ware’s colourful microwaveable prep bowl set when making the cookies. Now, I don’t zap anything much these days (I actually moved my microwave to the basement) so I can’t speak to that aspect of these bowls. They’re also dishwasher safe. I don’t have anything against the dishwasher and use mine all the time. But I washed my bowls by hand today (having a pioneer moment, I guess.)
There’s something satisfying about mixing dough by hand in a sturdy yet lightweight bowl, and I know the Little Misses will think the bright orange, green and blue colours are great fun the next time we bake together. And I’ll enjoy knowing that if a little elbow (or my big one) accidentally knocks a bowl to the floor, it won’t break.
Finally, there’s a certain satisfaction in making cookies on a ginormous 21 by 15 inch baking tray. That’s a big beauty! When I first got it, I actually put it in the oven to make sure it fit. I got 20 bad boy double-sized cookies on this puppy. (Of course, the number depends on both the size and spreadability of your cookies.) The fewer times I have to slide trays in and out of the oven, the better.
Finally, a note about the provenance of the recipe. When I was a kid growing up on the farm, exotic friends of my parents would visit from time to time. Not only were they from the city, they were also foreign. Yes, they were from Michigan. They might have lived only a couple of hours away, but let’s face it, they came from a totally different culture. One where people put potato chips in cookies. This is the recipe they shared with us back in nineteen-seventy-whatever. I have no idea where they got it, but you can find many variations online today.
I lov-lov-loved making and eating these cookies as a kid. And, although the recipe card has been in my little yellow recipe box ever since I left home, I never once made these for my kids. I was probably too hung up on the nutrition thing when they were young. Now that I’m Nana, I’m ready to throw caution to the wind and just go for the fun. After all, Nana rocks.
Disclaimer: As a participant at the second Food Bloggers of Canada conference coming up in Vancouver, British Columbia next week, I received a package of pre-conference swag from Nordic Ware, a Gold Sponsor of the conference. It included a Piñata Cake Pan, Naturals Big Sheet, Cast Aluminum Heirloom Cookie Stamps and the Microwaveable Prep Bowl Set. This review qualifies me for a draw for an additional $500 worth of Nordic Ware products. That said, all opinions are my own. Wish me luck!
Potato Chip Cookies
Pre-heat the oven to 350℉. LIne a cookie sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up and to keep your trays looking great. Makes 20 large cookies.
- 1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar (plus extra for rolling the cookie balls)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup crushed potato chips
- (optional) 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts, but for the flavour, not the nutrition!)
Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla. Add the flour and mix well. Stir in the crushed potato chips and the nuts (if using).
Using a one tablespoon ice cream scoop, shape two scoops of dough per cookie into balls and flatten into discs about 1-1/2 inches in diameter. Lightly press the cookie balls in sugar. Brush the Nordic Ware Heirloom Cookie Stamps with a light coating of oil before using (I use grapeseed oil, but you could use any cooking oil). Then press the stamps into sugar and tap off the excess before pressing each disc of dough once. You may have to shake the stamp gently to get release the patterned dough. Re-sugar the stamp before making the next cookie.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. The cookies will be slightly golden around the edges, but still pale on top. Remove from the oven and leave on the tray for five minutes to cool somewhat and firm up, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Nibble while dreamily reliving your childhood.