Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Potato Chip Cookies

I love potato chips. I also love cookies. So it would make sense that I really enjoy these potato chip cookies. I know they sound weird and they kind of are. The texture is interesting and a bit different than most other cookies. The potato chips give them a bit of crunch almost as if they are aerated (similar to Aero, a British chocolate bar). I imagine the type of chips you use would change the texture even more. I went with plain Lays as opposed to Ruffles or thicker chips. First of all, thicker ones are harder to crush and I think they would be too noticeable in the finished product. These cookies don't taste like potato chips, but they might be just as addictive. They also get even better after a few days. So, if you have the chance, make them ahead of time.

Potato Chip Cookies

1 lb. butter
1 c. granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
3 c. flour
1 1/2 c. crushed potato chips (Crush them with your hands for more consistently sized pieces)
powdered sugar, for dusting

1- Preheat oven to 350. Grease cookie sheet(s).
2- Beat butter until light and fluffy. Add sugar and beat well. Mix in vanilla, then add flour gradually. Add crushed potato chips to the mixture.
3- Drop from teaspoon onto greased sheet. Bake about 10 minutes or until brown around the edges. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cool completely.

Peppermint Meltways

These are quite similar to my previously posted Candy Cane Shortbread. They have a much stronger peppermint flavor and the texture is a bit different since there are no candy cane pieces in the dough. I think I prefer the Candy Cane Shortbread, but these are a decent option as well for a wintertime treat. And yes, I am aware that I'm posting about a wintry cookie in early June, but I'm trying to get caught up on recipes that should have been posted months ago.

Peppermint Meltaways

For the cookies:
1 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. corn starch

For the glaze:
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. butter, softened
1/4 tsp. peppermint extract
1-2 Tbsp. milk
1-3 drops red food coloring, if desired
candy canes or hard peppermint candy, crushed

1- Preheat oven to 350.
2- For the cookies, combine butter, powdered sugar and 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping the bowl often, until creamy. Reduce speed to low; add flour and cornstarch. Beat until well mixed. Cover and refrigerate until firm (30-60 minutes).
3- Shape rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into 1" balls. Place 2" apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Let stand 1 minute then remove from cookie sheets. Cool completely.
4- For the glaze, combine powdered sugar, butter, peppermint extract and enough milk for desired glazing consistency in small bowl. Stir in food coloring, if desired.
5- Drizzle glaze over cooled cookies. Immediately sprinkle with crushed candy.

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies

These cookies seemed like a good idea and they came out tasting decently. I will say that they were more labor-intensive than I expected based on the recipe. The dough doesn't quite hold the cherries as easily as it should and the frosting is a little thick. The recipe indicates that the frosting will spread over the cookies as they bake, which they do... sorta. Because the dough doesn't hold the cherries quite right, you are depending on the frosting to help hold the cookie together. This means that you have to put the frosting on prior to baking in a way that it covers the cherry completely. If I were to make these again, I think I would either add some kirsch or other liquid to soften the dough a little bit.

Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies

For the dough:
1/2 c. butter
1 c. granulated sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. baking cocoa
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
48 maraschino cherries, patted dry (I don't think I ended up using all 48, but they didn't go to waste as my dad decided to have an ice cream sundae.)

For the frosting:
1 c. (6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. sweetened condensed milk
1-3 tsp. maraschino cherry juice

1- Preheat oven to 350.
2- In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients and gradually add to mixture. The batter will be firm.
3- Shape into 48(ish) balls about 1" round and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Push one cherry halfway into each ball.
4- In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate chips in the condensed milk, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add cherry juice. Stir until smooth.
5- Spoon 1 tsp. of the frosting over cherries on each cookie. The frosting will spread over the cookie during baking.
6- Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

Fresh Apple Cake

I made this cake when I had apples that I needed to use. It came out decently, but it is rather difficult to get a clean slice. This isn't much of an issue when you're having it with breakfast, but if you are slicing it up to put on trays like I was, then it's a problem. I imagine making this as muffins, mini loaves or even in a large loaf pan would be lovely. Doing so would also be a good option for those of you who are somewhat wary when it comes to tube pans. This recipe came from an issue of Good Housekeeping. I must've torn it out of a magazine at the doctor's office or some such location since I don't get Good Housekeeping but I have no idea where exactly.

Fresh Apple Cake

1 c. chopped walnuts
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 1/2 c. chopped Granny Smith apples
2 c. granulated sugar
1 c. vegetable oil
3 eggs
confectioners sugar for dusting (if desired)

1- Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour 10" tube pan.
2- Place walnuts in a jelly roll pan and toast in the oven 7 minutes or until golden and fragrant. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking soda and salt. In another large bowl, combine walnuts, vanilla, cinnamon and 3 cups of apples. Reserve remaining 1/2 cup of apples.
3- In a large bowl, with mixer on medium-high speed, beat granulated sugar, oil and eggs until well blended. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture. Beat 1 minute longer or until well combined. With spatula, fold in apple mixture (the batter will be thick). Spoon batter into prepared pan. Scatter remaining apple over top of batter and gently press into top of batter.
4- Bake 1 1/2 hours or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack until completely cooled. Remove from pan and dust with confectioners sugar if desired.