National Potato Chip Day: March 14th

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Who doesn’t love potato chips? Light and crispy, thick and salty, flavored, so many choices, so many great choices. There are numerous organic brands as well as local brands to choose from, most delicious. My husband would prefer to eat chips over chocolate any day.

Because these deep-fried, thinly sliced potatoes were invented by the chef of a Saratoga Springs, New York hotel in the mid-19th-century, they are also called Saratoga chips. These all-American favorites come commercially in a wide selection of sizes, cuts (ripple and flat), thicknesses and flavors such as chive, barbecue, and nacho. Most commercial potato chips contain preservatives; those labeled “natural” usually do not. Some are salted while others are labeled “low-salt”; though most potato chips are skinless, others do include the skin which is quite flavorful. There are even chips made from mashed potatoes formed into perfect rounds and packed into crush-proof cardboard cylinders. All potato chips should be stored in an airtight container in a cool dark place. The storage time depends on whether or not the chips contain preservatives and how old they were when purchased. Some chips have a freshness date stamped on the package.

Potato chips can be used in a variety of ways, from breading for fish, to baked goods. Chocolate covered potato chips have become quite popular in candy cases over the last few years. This cookie recipe is not overly sweet, and the pecans give great flavor. The saltiness of the chips makes a great contrast to the sugar.

Potato Chip Cookies

1 cup butter

1/2 cup white sugar

1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup crushed potato chips

1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a medium bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Stir in egg yolk and vanilla. Gradually stir in the flour until just blended, then mix in crushed potato chips and pecans. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Criss-cross the top using a fork dipped in water. Bake 12 to 14 minutes in preheated oven, or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets.

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