Totally American cookies

Happy fourth of July everyone!  For the first time in a while I am actually in the states for this very American holiday, although today I cooked a dinner of spaghetti squash and a tomato sauce with spinach and tofu crumbles, soooo I’m not as patriotic as most.  Nevertheless, since coming back to the states, I have found myself particularly appreciative of various totally random things that you seem to only be able to find in the aisles of massive American grocery stores.  Where else in the world can you find 17 flavors of Oreos, 10 flavors of goldfish crackers, 4 flavors of graham crackers, entire aisles devoted to ice cream, and of course, an absurdly large number of different types of chips.

I myself am not a fan of the potato chip at all and prefer my chips a bit more pretentious – pita chips, Special K crackers, popcorn-esque chips, haute tortilla chips…you get the drift.  One type of chip that I lose all self control around is the beautiful cinnamon sugar pita chip.  It is the perfect mix of sweet and salty and one day years ago when I got a bag thinking I could perhaps eat it over a few days, I found myself indulging just a bit too much and frantically decided to bake the rest of the them into a cookie dough that I could then disperse among my colleagues.  The cinnamon pita chip cookie was born in Boston but I haven’t made it in years, and I thought a fitting time to share it with the world was on this most American of holidays.

If you can’t find cinnamon pita chips in various other countries, I”m sure you can work with a substitute.  Honestly normal potato chips just don’t make the cookie taste the same way, but even if you had plain pita chips and added a hefty pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg, you’d at least approximate this knockout of a cookie.  It looks humble but packs a serious flavor punch.  Get ready for your next addiction.

American cookies (made up by yours truly)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick, c.100 grams)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of sea salt
  • pinch of cinnamon (or up to a teaspoon – depends on how much cinnamon flavor you want to draw out)
  • Handful of pistachios, chopped up
  • Handful of dried cranberries, chopped up
  • 2/3 of a bag of Stacy’s Cinnamon Pita Chips, crushed into small pieces in a plastic bag (you can just do this with your fingers) – I mean I’m sure you could find a substitute for these in other parts of the world, but really I have only been able to find this specific type of amazing cinnamon sugar pita chips in the US and this is what MAKES the cookie
  • Other add-ins – you don’t need the pistachios or cranberries, you could add chocolate chips, toffee chips (another American favorite), peanut butter or butterscotch chips, marshmallows…really a lot of possibilities here believe me

This cookie really just follows any cookie recipe.  Start by creaming the butter and sugar together (make sure the butter is softened), and then add the egg and vanilla extract.  Once that’s all thoroughly mixed, add in the baking soda, sea salt, and cinnamon if using.  At some point in the process (probably best to do when the butter is softening), prepare your add-ins.  I chopped up pistachios and cranberries for this batch.  For the cinnamon pita chips, put handfuls into a plastic bag and use your fingers to crush them into small pieces.  If you want to get really physical with the chips bang the bag with a hammer or the back of a bowl.  Totally your call.

When your add-ins are ready, add a full cup of flour to the mixture, followed by the add-ins.  Then add in more flour until the mixture becomes enough of a dough so that you can scoop up little balls of it with your hands.  You can pop it in the fridge at this point to harden more (and it will keep in the fridge tightly wrapped for several days – although I don’t recommend this because you will just eat all the dough and not make it into cookies), or you can bake the cookies right away.  If you choose the latter option, preheat the oven to 350 F / 180 C and then bake them on parchment lined sheets (if possible – you can put them straight on the cookie sheet too if you want) for about 10 minutes.  Start checking at 8 in case your oven runs hot.  The baking time is also kind of up to you – 10 minutes should produce a fairly chewy cookie, but they definitely harden up as they cool and into the next day.  If you bake them on the longer side, it will produce a crispier crunchy cookie, which is not a bad thing – I just prefer them on the softer side.  When you remove from the oven, try to let them cool for about 3-5 minutes before diving in…but if you can’t, I understand.

IMG_9085Creaming the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar

IMG_9088Chopping up the pistachios and dried cranberries – and while at it, why not form them into a heart

IMG_9089Adding the egg and vanilla extract to the creamed butter and sugar mixture

IMG_9090Adding in the dry ingredients

IMG_9092And finally adding in the crushed pita chips and chopped cranberries and pistachios

IMG_9093All balled up and ready to go into the oven

IMG_9094Completed cookies – soooo yummy

These are one of the most delightful cookie doughs I have ever made.  As long as the cinnamon pita chip element is in there, you can get creative with any of the other elements and still have it be amazing.  The first time I made these I did it with pistachios and cranberries, and then the next time I made them (a whole 5 days later – yes, that’s how good this is) I put in some toffee chips, marshmallows, and chocolate chips…what’s great about the cookie base is that you can add chocolate or make it an entirely non-chocolate affair and have it still be utterly amazing.  It’s all in those cinnamon pita chips. And the cookie is really so easy to make.  The only challenge is actually getting it from the bowl to the oven, because trust me you may end up wanting to just eat the dough…

One year ago: Chocolate meringue tart, vegetable and white bean cassoulet and S’mores cookies (another one of the best ones in my arsenal)

 

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