Baking Through History: Potato Chip Cookies

Potato Chip Cookies

I found the cookbook “Pass the Plate: The Collection from Christ Church” is a massive antique shop outside of Charlotte.

The shop, called The Depot at Gibson Mill, has aisle and aisle of antiques, some junk, and books. Lots and lots of books – including old cookbooks.

If you’re ever in the Concord area – I definitely recommend stopping there. But, make sure you have at least two hours to go. Even then, however, you won’t see it all. It is big.

In one of the aisles, I found this old church cookbook, which was published in 1981.

The book was published by the Episcopal Churchwomen and Friends of Christ Episcopal Church in New Bern, North Carolina. In the foreword of the book, there is a short history of the town and the church parish.

According to the book, New Bern was settled in 1710 by a colony of Swiss and German Palatines. It was named in honor of Baron Christopher deGraffenried’s native Bern, Switzerland. In 1715, in the Province of North Carolina, the “Act for Establishing the Church and Appointing Select Vestrys” was created and that marks the start of Christ Church in New Bern. The site where the church is currently located in the town has been used for more than 300 years.

New Bern has a special place in my heart because it was where I met my husband when we both attended the annual U.S. Marine’s Ball in 2005. He was there with his mom and I was there with a friend. We danced the night away. I called him a stud muffin. And, we’ve been together ever since.

So this recipe, Potato Chip Cookies, are cookies with crushed potato chips in them. Salty. Sweet. How could this recipe be bad? The recipe doesn’t say what type of potato chips to use but I would assume it is plain chips with salt – nothing too crazy like jalapeño. 🙂

So, here is the recipe:

Potato Chip Cookies
Submitted by Patricia Byrum McCotter and by Carol Coleman Pursell 

  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ to 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup potato chips, crushed
  • 4x powdered sugar
  • ½ cup pecans, finely chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter, sugar, flour and vanilla well. Add nuts. Add potato chips. Pinch into marvel-sized pieces and place on cookie sheet. Press flat with fork. Bake 13 minutes and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Yield: 5 dozen

I cut this recipe in half because even though I share with my coworkers – I don’t need 5 dozen cookies.

This recipe is just OK. It is not my favorite, but I definitely don’t hate it. I could tweak it a bit to maybe add more salt or more sugar, but I’m not sure that would help. I could also make the bigger, but, that could alter the way it bakes. If you try these and love them, let me know! I’d love to hear from you.

There are so many more recipes in this book that I can’t wait to tackle including Applesauce Cupcakes and what’s called the “Totally Amazing Tomato-Spice Cake.” That one even has a note that says, “A delicious way to use up your garden’s bumper crop! Children refuse to believe there are tomatoes in this cake.”

…We’ll see about that one… stay tuned!

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Baking Through History: Casserole Cookies

Cookies…baked in a casserole dish. I have never heard of such a thing. And…I likely won’t try them again.

In the “Wyoming Centennial Cookbook (1890-1990)” published by the Johnson County Extension Homemakers Council, there is a recipe for Casserole Cookies. This book is also where I got the Fudge Nut Cookies recipe.

Johnson County, Wyoming has quite the history. According to its county website, it is a “place of sheep herders and cattle barons, renegades and rustlers. Where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid holed up after their outlaw exploits. Where miners consumed with gold rush fever passed through on the Bozeman Trail. Where some of the most famous Indian battles in American history occurred. And where the Johnson County Cattle War, a rangeland dispute which historians often deem one of the most notorious events in our history, left its mark here in the late 1880s … and that Owen Wister wrote about in his epic American novel, The Virginian. One of Johnson County’s biggest attractions is the magnificent Bighorn Mountains.”

This recipe was submitted by Mildred Ann (Weber) Anderson, I couldn’t find much on her life in Wyoming. She might still be living (which would be awesome) because there is no obituary for woman by that name that matches a time in Wyoming. I hope, somehow, this video and blog post finds her and I can ask her about this recipe.

In all my recipe reading, I’ve never seen casserole cookies. And, after baking it, I think I know why…

Casserole cookies
Recipe from Mildred Ann (Weber) Anderson 

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup dates chopped
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ tsp almond extract

Beat eggs in buttered 2 quart casserole dish. Add sugar, mix well. Add dates, coconut, nuts, vanilla, almond extract.

Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes, stirring 4 or 5 times while baking. Cool and stir occasionally. When cold, form into balls, roll in powdered sugar and flatten with fork

This recipe is not my favorite. I did halve it, which I really should not have done. They did not have enough moisture to eventually make them into cookies. It made more of a crumbly granola (which my husband liked) rather than a cookie you could bring together and roll in powdered sugar.

If you happen to make these – and they turn out – please let me know! I want to see what they look like.

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Baking Through History: Great Grandma’s Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Frosting

If you remember my second video about Ginger Cookies, you’ll remember how much my great grandma Laura loved to bake. Read more on those cookies – HERE.

Here again is another recipe from her given to me by her daughter, my great aunt, Betty.

Betty wrote about this recipe in the email to me and said, “I love the taste of this dough because of the nutmeg in it. I loved helping so I could eat the dough. I liked my mother-in-laws caramel syrup better than mom’s, so I don’t have mom’s recipe for the syrup. Mom also used this dough recipe to make her kuchen. Hope this helps. I haven’t made these in years!” – – Betty

I love these kinds of recipes – ones passed down from mother to daughter and down the line. 

Caramel Rolls

It is interesting to me that there is shortening in the dough. I did quite a bit of research on this because I expected butter.

Shortening, according to King Arthur Flour, adds a tenderness to dough and cakes. It can also help if your all-butter cookies are spreading too much in the oven. Shortening can be substituted in any recipe 1-to-1 for butter. The reason so many recipes call for butter over shortening…flavor. Butter has more flavor than shortening. In this recipe, however, there is butter in the filling, which I am sure will make these delicious.

You can make them as regular cinnamon rolls and add your own favorite frosting recipe or you can make caramel rolls as listed below.
I tried both – baking half and half in different pans.
This can make 15 large rolls or 24 medium size rolls.
You’ll need multiple pans and an instant read thermometer.

Here is the recipe as sent to me by Betty:
Cinnamon Rolls
Betty Goetz from her mom, Laura Berreth

Step One:

  • 1 cup warm water (110-115 degrees)
  • 2 packages active dry yeast

Dissolve yeast in warm water.

Step Two:

  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 1 cup milk, scalded

Heat milk to 180 degrees. Mix shortening into the milk to melt. Milk will need to cool to below 110 degrees before adding to mixing bowl for dough, so it doesn’t kill the yeast.

Step Three:

  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs (beat them first before adding)
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 T. lemon juice (if desired)
  • 7- 8 cups bread flour
  • Mix all ingredients (including yeast mixture and milk mixture) into stand mixer or bowl. Slowly add in flour and knead dough until it can be handled without sticking to your hands.

Transfer dough to lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rise 60-90 minutes, punch down, and then rise again for 60 minutes.

Step Four:

  • 1/2 stick of butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup brown sugar (depending on size of rectangle)
  • 2 T. Cinnamon

Roll dough into large rectangle; spread with soft butter, sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.
Roll up, beginning at wide side.
Cut into 1 and 1/2 inch pieces.
Place in pan or pans and let rise until puffy.
Add optional caramel syrup (recipe below) after they have risen but before baking.
Bake 20-30 minutes at 325 degrees.

Step Five (if making rolls with frosting):

  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tblspn milk

Mix together to create cream cheese frosting.
Spread over cooled buns.

Caramel Syrup for Cinnamon Rolls
Betty Goetz from Stella Goetz (Dwight’s mom):

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • ½ cup margarine or butter
  • 4 T. water
  • 4 T. white corn syrup
  • 1 T. vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup whipping cream

Mix together first 6 ingredients in a sauce pan, stirring constantly.
Bring to a boil.
Boil 1 minute and then, off the heat, add 1 cup cream.
Cool before pouring over unbaked, risen rolls.
Bake rolls as noted above.
**Caramel rolls might take a few minutes longer.

My great grandma’s recipe is absolutely delicious. The rolls come out tender and soft. I used bread flour in it, though the original recipe didn’t note which kind to use. I also added the measurements for the filling since those were not listed in the original.
I will definitely bake these on a cookie sheet with them separated rather than smooshed into a square pan. I think the air circulation will be better and they will brown more.

If you bake this recipe, let me know! I’d love to hear from you on how it went.

I have two more recipes from my great grandma that I’m going to bake up for you. One is called Peppernut Cookies and the other is a Christmas favorite in my family. Kuchen. I’ll be baking up the kuchen on Dec. 14, so stay tuned for that episode!

I have also come across a recipe for potato chip cookies and one for cookies baked in a casserole dish… I am too intrigued to not make those for you. Thanks for watching!

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Baking Through History: Great Grandma’s Ginger Cookies

I think I get my love of baking (and gardening) from my great grandma. She was a great baker and always had something sweet to eat when I visited her home in Herried, South Dakota.

Ginger Cookies from Laura Berreth

My great grandma, Laura Vossler Berreth, lived to be 95 years old. Her family was part of a group called “Germans from Russia” who started arriving in the U.S. in the 1870s.

I remember my great grandma fondly, and I love the recipes she passed down to my grandma and my aunt, who then passed them to me.

According to her obituary, she was born in 1915 on the family homestead near Terry, Montana. When she was quite young her parents moved back to the Vossler homestead, located northeast of Zeeland, North Dakota. They lived in a sod house, which her grandparents built when they homesteaded the land.

She led quite the interesting life painting, working, crafting, growing roses and irises and even moving to Lodi, California for a time before coming back to the North Dakota/South Dakota area.

One note in her obituary that made me smile was this: “She will always be remembered for her kuchen and gingersnap cookies.”

I’ll be making her kuchen (German for cake) in an upcoming video. 

My grandma, Carol, shared this ginger cookie recipe with me recently. She said it was one of her favorites that her mother made – along with Peppernut cookies (a post on that also coming soon.)

The recipe is below – and in the video, I scaled down the recipe by half so I wouldn’t have quite as many cookies to eat.

Ginger Cookies or Ginger Snaps
By Laura Berreth

  • 1 cup (201g) sugar
  • 3/4 cup (143g) shortening
  • 1 egg (50g)
  • 1 cup (280) molasses, I use light
  • 2 tsp. soda
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3 1/2 cups (420g) flour

Mix everything but the flour with a mixer, then add the flour and mix by hand, as it gets too thick for the mixer to handle.  Lightly form balls the size of a walnut, dip in sugar and put on a cookie sheet. 
Bake at 325 degrees about 13 minutes for a soft cookie like Mom used to make, also how I make them. If you bake them longer they will get hard, more like Ginger Snaps.

After baking these cookies, I’d have to say, they’re quite tasty. They are an acquired taste, however. You either love them or you don’t.
The cookies were soft in the middle and crunch on the sides right after baking. After sitting out, covered, for a few hours, they got more chewy.
If you’re not expecting that, it can be different. However, it is how I remember them when I had them at my grandma’s.

Baking Through History series:

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Baking Through History: A Series of Stories From Vintage Recipes

Vintage is all the rage right now. Whether vintage to you means the 90s or the 60s, bringing back what was once old is in.

First Baptist Church in Glenburn, N.D. Cookbook

From butterfly clips and bell bottom pants to your grandma’s Pyrex and bake ware, vintage is here to stay.

But what about vintage recipes? You know, the ones found in the church cookbooks that someone’s great aunt or grandma made.

What about those cookies, cakes and pies that bring a sense of nostalgia?

The Great Big Cookie Book by Hilaire Walden

I’m bringing those back. And, I’m going to document it all with video and blog posts.

I love to read old recipes. Cookies, cakes, pies … you name it. I read them not only to see if I’m interested in baking it – or tweaking it to sell in my home-based bakery, but also for fun.

I have quite a few old cookbooks already – ones from church groups, ones found at antique shops and old recipes passed down from my great-grandma and grandma. I’ll be pulling from those and from the books my mother-in-law, who also likes to bake and cook, has in her library and from friends who have volunteered their old books.

Favorite Recipes from Lutheran Brotherhood

Those old family recipes shared in simple books are stories. Stories that tell not only of the time in which they were created, but of the place they were created and of the people enjoying them.

So, in addition to baking and blogging, I’ll be researching to find the origin of those recipes to honor them and tell the story. Of course, you’ll get to see the book where I found the recipes – and get the recipe itself as well.

I hope to post one video/blog post per week as I make my way through vintage recipes. And I’d love to hear from you and share some of your old family recipes and the stories behind them. You can share them with me via email at pigdogfarms@gmail.com. You can send pictures of the recipe and then tell me of the memories you have with that recipe.

My first video and blog post is here! READ HERE

Baking through History series:

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Making cookies…in a jumbo muffin tin?

What?! You don’t have to bake cookies on a cookie sheet?

Nope. You don’t. Shocking, I know.

In my quest to create the best peanut butter cookie a home cook can make, I decided to try baking them in a jumbo muffin tin! (turns out other people have thought of this, too…)

Surprisingly…or not surprisingly…these make really delicious cookies that don’t spread out too much.

My peanut butter cookie recipe has no butter. Just peanut butter, sugars, an egg, vanilla, baking soda and a teensy bit of flour. So, in the science of it, these are very likely to spread.

The muffin tin keeps them from spreading and helps the baking soda rise even more. It is amazing.

If you’ve never used a jumbo muffin tin to bake…I highly recommend you try it. You will have to check, check and triple check your cookies as they bake so you don’t burn them – or make them over browned on the bottom. But, let me tell you… it works.

Chat with ya next time on the next new baking hack I discover!

(Also, thank you to my mother-in-law who got me the jumbo muffin tin. Love ya!)


Testing recipes to make the perfect bread or cookie

New peanut butter cookie recipe testing

Before I even think about offering a loaf of bread or a cookie, I want to make sure it is the best.

When I first started thinking about selling homemade sourdough bread, I was making a full rye loaf that was inconsistent and didn’t stay fresh. Not good.

So, I found a new recipe. I made it dozens of times – tweaking as I made it each time to make it my own – before I was comfortable with the finished product.

Then, I gave some away. I had people try it and give feedback. Only after that long process did I put it out in the universe that I could sell it. And even since then, I’ve worked on my recipe.

There’s nothing worse than looking forward to something only to find it wasn’t what you thought you were getting.

I also like to try new recipes – and tweak them to make them my own. I do a lot of research before I bake anything new – including recipe reviews, ingredients the recipe uses and what’s the baking process. If you read enough recipes, you can tell right away if something seems off or if it just won’t taste good. You also have to tweak a recipe based on how you mix ingredients and how your oven bakes.

Snickerdoodle cookies

Because of this, there is an abundance of baked goods at my house that aren’t for sale yet. I like to give a sample to someone with an order that day – and ask for feedback. I’ve approved some experiments – and paused others until I can do more research.

That’s how I decided to sell the snickerdoodle cookies. I made up a batch and people loved them. I first used a King Arthur recipe and have since tweaked it to suit my tastes and how I like to do my cookies. I’ve even taken requests from people and now do a full whole-wheat loaf and a sandwich loaf.

Today, I tested out a new peanut butter cookie. The ones I make are good – and I’ve sold some already, but I want a more peanut buttery cookie that comes together easy and stays soft. You’d be surprised how hard it is to pack strong peanut flavor into a cookie.

As Pig Dog Farms & Bakery grows, I want to hear from you! What cookie or loaf of bread would you like to see? If you’re willing to go along with an experiment and give feedback, I’d be happy to try anything new. Let me know!

To get any of my current offerings – CLICK HERE.


Wait, she does cakes, too?

Italian Cream Cake with cream cheese frosting and pecans

Fun News! I am now taking custom cake orders. I’ve always loved baking cakes and usually only got to do it for birthdays, but now, I’m ready to bake for you!

Baking has always been something I love and turn to when I’m stressed.

I got into baking when I was about 8 years old.

It started by helping my mom make cookies. This is when I learned there is something about measuring and mixing together ingredients – and then eating a warm cookie out of the oven – that just makes me happy. I find it very relaxing.

When I was in my teens, I pretended I had my own baking show – whipping up cakes, cookies, waffles and kuchen. Kuchen is a German dessert that my grandma, great grandma and aunt taught me to make. It is a family favorite.

Now, more years that I like to admit later, I’ve decided to share these tasty goodies with you!

And boy, have I been busy. For the weeks of Jan. 18 and Jan 24, I have baked 27 loaves of bread and 11 dozen cookies. That is a heck of a lot, but I absolutely loved every minute of it – including waking up first at 4:15 a.m. to feed “Sally” my sourdough starter and then at 6:30 a.m. to get everything mixed up before my full-time job. I’m tired, yes, but happy.

If you’re interested in anything, please let me know! I have a new order page HERE.

I can also ship! I sent two dozen cookies to Bismarck, N.D. and a loaf of bread to Minot, N.D. and everything arrived in a timely manner and still tasting fresh. Just let me know – email at pigdogfarms@gmail.com.