Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Kitchen Diary 2012 - Potato Chip Shortbread Cookies

This is either the Black Sheep or the Fun One on the Shortbread family tree. Smitten Kitchen posted it by way of Emeril Lagsasse – but, what we can see from the topography of the Internet, this is a recipe that has developed over a while.

Its bone structure is Shortbread, there is a bit of the genteel Pecan Sandie trying to assert itself, but the ground-up potato chips? Whoever made that leap is the person you want to know. Ground-Up Potato Chip Lady is the one who catches your eye at that horrible party who points to the door and mouths “cigarette?” It doesn’t matter if you don't smoke: JOIN HER. She’ll close the door, cup her hand over the cigarette while she lights it, inhale, then arch her neck and exhale before turning to you, her confidant for the evening (if you can supply the light, all the better). She will tell you stories about everyone there.

Just look at the name of this cookie: if you’re not drooling, then good on you. But if you’re thinking dirty, dirty thoughts? You might as well start smoking with the kids outside.

We deviated from the recipe by adding an ounce of Sharffen Berger baking pieces to the batter (from the same bag we used to enhance our cranberry oat bars).

Most recipes will have you do this annoyingly twee step of forming the dough into a ball, rolling said ball into a pan of sugar, placing the sugar’d ball on a baking sheet, and then flattening it with the bottom of a glass. Okay: this dough is only butter, flour, and sugar: it’s pretty crumbly. Scoop it out with a cookie scoop (or tablespoon) into your hand and squoosh it together. Since it’s already in your hands, go ahead and flatten it into a small disk. The heat of your hands will have melted enough butter so you can press it into the sugar, then place it on the cookie sheet (ours was lined with a Silpat-style baking sheet, but there is so much butter in these, it is not necessary – neither is parchment paper).

Consider these cookies a secret handshake (or shibboleth): those who eat them may enter.

- ½ Cup sugar
- 1 Cup (2 sticks) butter at room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ Cup toasted pecans, chopped
- ½ Cup finely-crushed potato chips (we used about a half of an 8-ounce bag of Tim’s Cascade potato chips, ground up in the Cuisinart)
- 2 Cups flour
- ½ Cup semi-sweet chocolate bits

Preheat oven to 350F

- Cream butter and sugar. Add salt and vanilla
- Mix in pecans and crushed potato chips
- Add flour, mix until combined (the dough will be crumbly)
- Scoop out a tablespoon-sized knob of dough, flatten into a disk in your hands, press both sides into a dish filled with ½ Cup of sugar to coat, place on baking sheet
- Bake for about 15-17 minutes, until the edges get golden.

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