The Clara Project: potato chip cookies.

I know, right? Potato chip cookies.

This recipe (see more about my exploration of vintage recipes via The Clara Project) is handwritten in blue ball-point pen on a lined 3-by-5 card. It came from Evelyn Fleisch, and it’s really nothing more than a list of ingredients (I had to guess at the preparation method, including the oven temperature).

Honestly, I had my doubts about this old-fashioned cookie recipe. The ratio of butter to dry ingredients seemed out of whack, particularly since the recipe called for sifted flour, which would exaggerate the butter/flour ratio wackiness. But I gave it a whirl.

It was a flop. The cookies dissolved into pools of butter on the baking sheet. [scrape scrape scrape, wash wash wash] Total. Cookie. Fail.

Back to the drawing board. Or rather, to the internet. Turns out, potato chip cookies (though I’d never sampled them) are a beloved staple in many families. A simple search confirmed my hunch: The butter/flour in Evelyn’s original recipe is out of whack. Every other recipe I found online, including Emeril‘s and Smitten Kitchen‘s, calls for 2 cups of flour. Problem solved.

A second batch came out perfectly delicious. These potato chip cookies are buttery, with a delicate texture like shortbread and a bit of crunch and salt from the chips. The recipe indicated that the pecans are optional, but I would view them as necessary, for they deepen the flavor and add a pleasant texture. They practically scream for a glass of milk to go with.

Do you have a favorite family cookie recipe? Please tell me about it here!

old-fashioned potato chip cookies

1 cup butter, softened at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup crushed potato chips (see Note)
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans

Note: Use your hands to smush a pile of potato chips in a small bowl; you don’t want them too fine. Then measure 1/2 cup.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, stir the butter until it’s smooth; add the sugar and beat the butter and sugar together until they’re well combined and a little fluffy. Stir in the vanilla extract. Add the flour and stir gently to combine; add the crushed potato chips and pecans and fold gently to combine.

Scoop a teaspoonful of dough and roll it into a ball about 1 inch in diameter. Place on the parchment-lined cookie sheet and use the bottom of a glass that’s been dipped in granulated sugar to press the ball into a flat circle. Repeat to fill the cookie sheet, spacing about 2 inches apart. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the cookies are light brown on the edges. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.


About The Clara Project
Once a week, I’ll make and share a recipe from a collection of vintage recipe cards that were written in the 1930s by Clara Shenefelt. See all the Clara Project recipes.


9 thoughts on “The Clara Project: potato chip cookies.

  1. And here Christina Tosi gets all that press for putting chips and similar salty stuff in her compost cookies at Milk Bar (which are delicious). I guess there really aren’t any new ideas in the world!

  2. We make these in Ocala Fl. and shared the receipe with everyone. We only used Lay’s potato chips and we use more nuts (walnuts etc.) than called for. Joan Henderson, Ocala, Fl. read your paper every day! orginally from.. Cincinnati, Ohio.

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