Terra Chip Cookies

I’m always disappointed when I open a new bag of potato chips, hear the air rush out, and discover that it’s only half full. Once I finish the few unblemished chips, I’m left with a pool of crumbs on the bottom. Most often I shake the bag and spitefully throw it away.

Not anymore. Crushed chips actually make tasty cookies! The promise of sweet and salty, plus a hint of the bizarre prompted me to try a potato chip cookie recipe from Real Simple magazine. These cookies are reminiscent of pecan sandies and snickerdoodles. When fresh, they’re delicately crisp like shortbread. After a couple days, they get chewy but remain delicious for weeks.

I upgraded these cookies by using leftover Terra chips, a mixture of taro, sweet potato, yuca, batata and parsnips. I imagine tortilla chips would work too. Any nut can also be used; I substituted hazelnuts. I also omitted about 1/3 of the butter (the original recipe called for two sticks) to no ill effect.


potato chip cookies

Terra Chip Cookies
Inspired by Nancy Myers’ recipe in Real Simple, May 2005

1 stick plus 3 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/2 cup more for coating
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup Terra, potato or tortilla chips, crushed
1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt (only add if using low-sodium chips)

Preheat oven to 375° F. Cream the butter and 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high speed. Lower to medium speed and add the vanilla. Add the flour, cinnamon and salt (if using) to the butter mixture. Beat on low speed until incorporated. Fold in the chips and nuts. Form into approximately 1 1/2-inch balls. Dredge in the remaining sugar. Flatten with the bottom of a glass cup. Place on foil-lined baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake until golden brown around the edges, about 13 minutes. Cool completely on sheets.

Yield: Makes 2 1/2 dozen

NUTRITION PER SERVING (from full fat recipe)
CALORIES 138(54% from fat); FAT 8g (sat 4g); PROTEIN 1mg; CHOLESTEROL 16mg; CALCIUM 6mg; SODIUM 18mg; FIBER 1g; CARBOHYDRATE 15g; IRON 1mg

When lightening a cookie recipe, you may remove up to half of the fat. Because cookies depend on butter for crispness and chewiness, I don’t recommend replacing the fat with anything. Fruit purées like applesauce will make the cookie cakey and gummy. Just leave out the fat: most recipes have plenty already!

This recipe is a variant of the Earl Grey tea cookies that have popped up in IMBB 17: Taste Tea and Blogging by Mail 2. The Earl Grey cookies use 1/2 cup each of granulated and powdered sugar, 2 Tbsp tea leaves pulverized with the dry ingredients, and no cinnamon. They are the slice-and-bake variety.

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  1. mona said,

    wow! i usually read real simple all the time but haven’t picked one up in a while. dang i missed this recipe. reminds me of my shoving chips in peanutbutterand jelly days. worth trying this recipe?

    October 4, 2005 at 10:49 pm

  2. Jessica "Su Good Eats" said,

    Hi Mona,
    Yes, this recipe is worth a try. They’re one of my favorite non-chocolate cookies. My friend ate like five in one sitting!

    You don’t taste the chips per se, but I guess they lend some fat and structure to the cookie.

    October 9, 2005 at 11:01 pm

  3. Melissa said,

    Hi Jessica, these cookies look really fabulous! I can just imagine the sweet-salty-nutty flavor combination working really well in cookies. I can’t remember if I’ve seen Terra Chips here, but we have a kind of sweet potato chip which is very similar. I’m really curious to give these a try – thanks for the recipe!

    October 11, 2005 at 11:26 am

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