Patriotic as HELL

Looking to win a prize at your Fourth of July potluck? Want to be the envy of all the boys down at the pool hall? Eager to gain the acceptance of some terrible religious sect that would just as soon drown you for the heathen you are?

Have I got a recipe for you!

Potato Chip Cookies

(From a butter-stained July 2012 Cook's Country magazine I found on the floor of a closet at work.)

Makes 24 cookies

  • 3/4 cup (3.75 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (1.5 ounces) reduced-fat potato chips*, crushed fine
  • 1/4 cup pecans, toasted in a dry pan and chopped fine
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces, softened but still cool
  • 1/4 cup (1.75 ounce) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) confectioner's sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 rimmed** baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine flour, potato chips, pecans, and salt in a bowl.
  2. Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter, granulated sugar, and confectioner's sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg yolk and vanilla and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low and slowly add flour mixture in 3 additions. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and space 3 inches apart on baking sheets. Flatten dough balls to 1/4-inch thickness with bottom of floured drinking glass.
  3. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until cookies are just set and lightly browned on bottom, 10 to 13 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Let cookies cool completely on sheets, about 15 minutes. Serve. (Cookies can be stored in airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.)

* Cape Cod 40% Reduced Fat Potato Chips are the thing you need here because they stay crunchy and any other type of chip will be too oily, says Cooks Country magazine. I was afraid Cape Cod 40% Reduced Fat Potato Chips were going to be some Gwyneth Paltrow-level nonsense, but it turned out that people actually eat these things and they carried them at my neighborhood grocery store, which is frequented by everyone from transients to bewildered French tourists.

** If, like me, you are not a person who owns three rimmed baking sheets, I grant thee permission to use whatever the hell pan you can find that has a large-ish flat bottom.

And I know you're nnnnnot supposed to eat raw cookie dough, but who are we kidding? This stuff isn't going to wash itself off your hands, it needs help. From your teeth. The dough tastes like the 1950s Midwest to me. Like a fat grandma mixed them up with a wooden spoon that she once used to whip your dad.

But then, while they're baking, the mood lifts and the whole kitchen begins to smell like Christmas.

Finally, once they're baked, cooled, and in your mouth, the taste becomes something wholly different. It's the most delicate, crumbly, toasted-pecan sandie shortbread that I've ever coaxed out of a mixing bowl, and not only am I proud of myself for actually following the directions to the letter, for once, but I experienced a brief inner tremor that, left unexamined, would surely have led to me eating the rest of the cookies, the parchment paper, and the baking sheets, both rimmed and unrimmed, with a cup of roasted dandelion tea (which is so good for your liver and kidneys).



 If you post a cookie recipe, it's polite to show how they came out.