Sweet and salty Potato Chip Cookies are perfect for sharing, whether you’re baking them for the holidays or any given week. Made with just a few simple ingredients and easily made dairy free and vegan, too, these soft cookies are topped with powdered sugar like a snowball cookie. Serve with Vanilla Hot Chocolate, and you’re golden all season long! Makes 72 cookies.
It’s officially The Sweetest Season, friends!
And I’m coming in hot today with a well-loved family recipe that was published back in 2011 but got a massive facelift this year because, umm, well, I didn’t really know what I was doing with blogging and food photography in 2011. 😉
What are potato chip cookies?
These are melt-in-your-mouth salty and sweet cookies.
Packed full of butter and crispy potato chips and topped with a sprinkling of powdered sugar, these decadent cookies are the best of both worlds.
Why I love this recipe:
This Potato Chip Cookie recipe always makes me think of my grandmother, Memother, because this recipe was passed down to all of us from her.
They were her go-to cookie, and all of us got the chance to make them with her at some point in our lives.
Now, I’ll be honest: I’ve edited her recipe throughout the years, but I think Memother would approve of my riffs. These riffs are basically just more potato chips and pecans because I love ’em both in this recipe.
I think you will, too.
I know you might be scratching your head about potato chips inside a cookie, but trust me: they are the best kind of sweet-salty treat!
Other long-time family favorite cookies for the holidays: All-Butter Tea Cake Cookies | Chocolate Crinkle Cookies | Dark Chocolate Peanut Blossoms | Peppermint Chocolate Crinkle Cookies | Cranberry Chocolate Potato Chip Cookies
Looking for a cookie recipe for this season, but don’t know where to start? Check out my Christmas Recipe Index for inspiration!
What you need to make this recipe:
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- Sheet pan
- Silpat nonstick baking mat
- Stand mixer
- Rubber spatula
- 1 tablespoon cookie scoop
- Fine mesh strainer
Let’s talk ingredients!
In addition to the tools above, you’re going to need some ingredients to make this recipe, too! Chances are, you might already have some of them in your fridge or pantry. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full measurements and instructions.
Here’s what you need:
- Unsalted butter—this recipe calls for 4 sticks of butter. It is not a low-fat recipe. My Memother used to use 2 sticks of butter and 2 sticks of margarine, so I know these can be made dairy free with a non-dairy butter substitute.
- Granulated sugar—also known as white sugar, this is the sweetener for these cookies. There is no substitute.
- All-purpose flour—we keep unbleached AP flour in our house,
- Vanilla extract—if you can afford it, the real deal stuff brings awesome flavor and helps balanced out the other flavors in these cookies.
- Potato chips—regular Lay’s are our family’s go-to brand, but any potato chip should work, so long as it’s not low-fat. I tried to use those in college, and the cookies were weird.
- Pecans—you can toast them or not. If you have a nut allergy, leave ’em out.
- Powdered sugar—also known as confectioner’s sugar, we use this to dust the tops of the cookies as soon as they come out of the oven.
How to Make Potato Chip Cookies
Make the cookie dough
First, preheat the oven and line a baking sheet with a nonstick baking mat or a piece of parchment paper. You can also spray a baking sheet with nonstick baking spray if you’d like, though I prefer to go the first route.
Set the prepared baking sheet aside.
Please note: You’re going to have to make a few baking sheets’ worth of cookies, so you can line a few or just line two and bake them in batches.
Cream the butter and sugar using the paddle attachment in a stand mixer. Beat them for a few minutes until they’re a very light yellow.
Add the flour. Pour in the vanilla extract and mix the batter until just combined. It should be light and fluffy.
Do not overmix the batter because the cookies will become tough.
Use a rubber spatula to stir in the crushed potato chips and pecans.
Stir until just combined.
Scoop, form and bake the cookies
Using a cookie scoop (I like a one tablespoon one for this recipe!), drop the batter onto the prepared cookie sheet(s).
Give each cookie about 1.5″ of room on either side so that they don’t run into each other. They will spread in the oven.
Now, fill a small glass of water and throw a few ice cubes in it. Do it, and then grab a fork.
Dip a fork into the ice water (always do this first so it doesn’t stick to the super sticky cookie dough!) and then press down on each cookie with the fork, making a criss-cross on each one.
Personally, I like to criss cross each cookie twice to ensure they’re nice and smushed.
Keep dipping the fork into the water so it doesn’t stick to your cookies as you work your way through the baking sheet.
Once the cookie dough has been prepared, transfer the baking sheet to the oven, and bake.
When the cookies are just barely golden brown, remove from the oven.
Let cool ON the sheet pan, then transfer to a wire rack.
No, really. They have to cool before you move them, or they’ll fall apart.
When the cookies are on the cooling rack, sprinkle them very lightly with powdered sugar before enjoying.
Did you know…
This dough does NOT keep well in the refrigerator. The chips will become soggy, so it’s important to go ahead and bake all your cookies when the dough is ready. If you’re not wanting to make this many cookies, you can half the recipe.
Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tricks
We love to make these Potato Chip Cookies for cookie exchanges because they’re unique and a little different.
Here are some tips and tricks for making ’em the best they can be so you can share them:
- Don’t chill the batter. No, really. The potato chips will get soggy, and you won’t get the delightful crunchy pieces when you bite into them.
- Remember to dip your fork in the water before you press down the cookies. Since the batter is super sticky, it will stick to the metal.
- Substitution alert: Don’t like butter? Swap it with an equal amount of margarine for the same effect. Not into pecans? Leave them out or substitute another nut of your choosing in the same amount.
Frequently Asked Questions
Personally, I like to crush the potato chips in a plastic bag. Place them inside, then crunch them up lightly. Don’t get crazy, though, because you want there to be potato chip pieces in your cookies, not just potato chip dust!
My grandmother’s original recipe calls for margarine instead of butter. Use that, and you’re golden! The texture of the cookies will be a little bit crispier than the butter variety, but they’re still delicious.
Sure! If someone you know has a nut allergy or if you’re not into them, leave them out, and the cookies will still taste delicious.
Quick tips and tricks to the best Potato Chip Cookies
- Make them all in one day. This batter does not keep well in the fridge because the potato chips will become soggy.
- Add them to a cookie tray or a cookie box.These unique cookies always impress and travel well! They’re also fabulous for a Cookie Swap Party.
- How to store: Once the cookies have cooled completely, transfer to an airtight container at room temperature. They will keep for 4-5 days or more!
Sippers to pair with these festive cookies:
- Peppermint White Russian
- Sugar Cookie Martini
- Vanilla Hot Chocolate Martini
- S’mores White Russian
- Eggnog Cookies with Spiced Rum Frosting
- Gingerbread Mule
Sweet and salty Potato Chip Cookies are perfect for sharing, whether you're baking them for the holidays or any given week. Made with just a few simple ingredients and easily made dairy free and vegan, too, these soft and buttery cookies are topped with powdered sugar for a little sweetness like a snowball cookie. Complete with a little crunch from the potato chip pieces, these simple cookies are well balanced!
- 2 cups unsalted butter, softened and at room temperature (4 sticks)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups crushed potato chips
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- Powdered sugar, for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with a nonstick baking mat or parchment paper, and set aside.
- In the base of a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter and sugar together, beating for several minutes until they have turned a very light yellow.
- Measure in the flour and vanilla extract, mixing until batter has come together.
- Using a spatula, stir in the crushed potato chips and pecans.
- Drop batter onto the prepared cookie sheet with a tablespoon cookie scoop.
- Pour water into a glass and add ice cubes. You'll use this for the next step.
- Dip a fork into the cold water, and criss cross the tops of the cookies. (Dipping the fork in the cold water will ensure that it doesn't stick to the super sticky cookie dough.)
- When the cookies have been flattened, transfer the baking sheet to the oven, and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
- Remove when golden brown, and let cool.
- Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar, then enjoy.
How to store: Store in an airtight food storage container for up to a week at room temperature.
What is the best way to crush the potato chips? I like to grab a few handfuls of them and place them in a plastic bag. Seal the bag, then crunch them up until they're in smaller pieces.
Substitutions my Memother would approve of:
- You can use the same amount of margarine instead of butter, if you want to make these cookies dairy free and vegan.
- Walnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts... they'd all work in place of pecans. You can also leave out the nuts if those aren't your jam.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 96Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 7mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 0gSugar: 4gProtein: 1g
Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.
The photos and recipe for these Potato Chip Cookies were originally published on December 23, 2011. The photographs, along with the text of this blog post, were updated on December 2, 2019.