Nana’s Kitchen: Potato Chip Clusters and Cookies

Nana’s Kitchen: Potato Chip Clusters and Cookies

Greetings, home cooks, welcome to Nana’s Kitchen,

As the holidays get into full swing I have been able to enjoy a few tastes of the season. Cookies, candy, cake and pie, oh my! I need to be careful here. Temptations abound. A little goes a long way. I must confess I love Queen Anne chocolate covered cherries, prevalent over the Christmas season. The limit is two per day. As kids we loved them and they are still a treat. One other favorite is the potato chip, even though it is eaten anytime. It has a special place in several holiday recipes.

We all love the thinly slice potato fried or baked to a crispy perfection. Salted, flavored, rippled, plain, they are a snack food that is irresistible. Everyone has a favorite.

So where did the potato chip begin? Stories vary as to the origins. Many stories stem from the Moon’s Lake House in Saratoga Springs, New York. Legend says , in 1853, a customer was unhappy with the French Fries he was served as being too soggy, too thick, and not enough salt. George Crum the cook sliced several potatoes extremely thin, fried them to a crisp, and seasoned with extra salt. These were served to the customer to great satisfaction. And thus the Saratoga chips were born. 

Several persons who worked at the Moon’s Lake House have also been thought to create the chip as well. There is no definitive evidence.

There is mention in William Kitchiner’s cookbook, “The Cook’s Oracle”, dated 1817 of potatoes fried in slices. Though first mentioned in publication it does not mean Mr. Kirtchiner invented the potato chip. We may never know.

What is known includes the fact that potato chips were never patented. In 1958 barbecue flavored chips became the first flavored chip in the United States. The next flavor sold was sour cream and onion. The invention of the mechanical peeler, in the 1920’s, revolutionized the production of the potato chip. Lay’s Potato chips were the first national brand. During WWII potato chip production was halted because it was declared a “non essential food”. Frito corn chips came to the public in 1932.

There are 2 recipes to share this week. Enjoy!

Potato Chip Clusters

Ingredients:
9 ounces white baking chocolate
2 cups crushed potato chips
1/2 cups chopped pecans

In a large microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate according to package instructions.
Stir in the crushed potato chips and pecans.
Drop by teaspoonful onto waxed paper lined baking sheets.
Refrigerate until set.
Place in small paper cups for serving.

Hints:
Makes about 3 dozen
8 ounce bag of potato chips makes 2 cups crushed.
Crushed my chips in zip lock bag with a rolling pin.
Food processor would work.
Travels well in sealed container, no melting or getting soft.
Store in cool spot in your kitchen in a sealed container.
Great as a boxed gift.
Used Lay’s potato chips. 
Used Ghirardelli White chocolate, you use what you like.

Potato Chip Cookies

Ingredients:
1 pound butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups crushed potato chips
Powdered sugar

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
Cream butter and sugar well with mixer.
Add flour and vanilla. Add flour 1 cup at a time to combine.
Using your hands, add in the crushed chips and combine.
Place heaping teaspoons of dough on cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 12 – 15 minutes until a light golden brown.
Refrigerate cookies, do not freeze.
When ready to serve dust cookies with powdered sugar and arrange on serving plate.

Hints:
Used Lay’s potato chips.
If there are chips with dark spots, set aside or remove spots. I eat them!
Crushed chips in zip lock bag with a rolling pin.
Took 15 minutes to bake in my oven.
Leave cookies on tray after out of oven for a minute or two before placing on rack to cool.
Used a small cookie scoop.
Used regular salted butter.
Keep refrigerated until ready to eat.
These are delicious.

Have a blessed Sunday.