At an "early 60's tacky tiki" theme party this weekend, it occured to me how sometimes the most retro recipes can also be very of-the-moment. At this particular party there were modern takes on all sorts of things. In each case very high quality ingredients were used and, you know the saying, "quality in, quality out." There was a cucumber gelatin mold salad, only the cucumbers were fresh from the farm, agar-agar was used to gel it and fresh dill and citrus flavors punctuated the dish. It was so good I took some home!
Another dish that hasn't been popular in a while was the cheese ball, though at this party there were three of them. When made with the best cheeses, fresh roasted red peppers and rolled in nuts, it was positively delicious. The dish I had the hardest keeping my paws out of was nothing more than a premium "seven layer dip". Seven layer dip is made from refried beans, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, cheese, olives and green onions or some similar combination. But imagine a version where each layer was made from scratch or with the best products available. It was a far cry from the versions I've had that were made mostly from mundane canned ingredients.
I admit, I only made potato chip cookies out a sense of nostalgia. Potato chip cookies are one of the few 60's foods I can remember eating, but for all I know it might have even been the 70's. Though my contribution was only intended as a novelty item, after the second person asked me for the recipe, I figured I'd share it here. While the ingredients are nothing spectacular, the combination of salty and sweet in dessert is very common these days, especially on restaurant menus. The recipe is very similar to the one from Frito-Lay, but I use more nuts and less sugar.
Potato Chip Cookies
3 dozen cookies
2 1/2 cups crushed potato chips* (measure after crushing)
1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup chopped pecans or roasted peanuts
Combine the sugars, egg, milk and vanilla and whisk together to combine in a medium mixing bowl. In a small bowl, stir together the flour and baking powder to combine. Add dry ingredients to batter then mix in the potato chips and nuts. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet (or parchment lined sheet) allowing space for the cookies to spread. Bake at 375° for 10 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.
* I use Lay's potato chips because they are thin, crispy and very salty. Other chips may work well too, but I've always used Lay's. You can now get Lay's with no trans-fat and while I couldn't work out exactly how much fat and calories are in 2 1/2 cups of potato chip crumbles, there is no addition added fat in the recipe (other than what is in the egg and milk).
by Nancy Ellison