Back when people used to do things, I was fond of an app that would suggest recipes based on the ingredients you happened to have on hand. It was the sort of thing that sparked my culinary creativity whenever I found myself alone in the kitchen with, say, half a cauliflower head and an apple that had seen better days.
Now, I'm pretty much like, "Yeah, it's half a cauliflower head and an apple with brown spots, and I guess that's what's for dinner everybody." But there are still days when I consider there may be a more elevated format for whatever is lurking in my cabinets. Days when I want to feel a little fancy — without, of course, actually making an effort.
"Salty" is right up there with "burned" among the most blessed of flavors, whether the dish in question is savory or sweet. Chocolate-covered pretzels will always be my death row last meal request. And, oh my God, have you explored miso as an ice cream topping?
Several years ago, I discovered a Martha Stewart recipe for potato chip cookies. These cookies evoke the crumbly, exquisite pleasure of Mexican wedding cookies — but with potato chips as a bonus — and I've been happily baking them ever since. When I went looking to expand my potato-chips-for-dessert repertoire, it wasn't long before I hit on a dessert that casts my favorite thing in the world — Nutella — in the starring role. BINGO.
Adding oats to the potato chip crust gives this tart's base a homespun, cookie-like flavor, and the decadent Nutella cream filling only tastes like it should be complicated. The chocolate ganache takes it all to the next level, but honestly, if you're tired, you can skip it. With just a few ingredients likely lurking in your pantry, you can make something that looks like the sort of special dessert you'd get at a cool restaurant but tastes like potato chips and Nutella. And isn't that what you'd really want to eat, anyway?
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For the crust
- 5 oz. of potato chips (about one medium bag)
- 1/2 cup of rolled oats (not instant)
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 6 tablespoons of butter, melted
For the filling
- 1 8-oz. block of cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup of heavy cream
- 1 cup of Nutella
For the ganache
- 1/2 cup of dark chocolate or chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup of heavy cream
- Crush the potato chips, oats and sugar in a food processor — if you have one — or add to a Ziploc bag and crush with a rolling pin. Don't crush too finely (texture is nice).
- Add melted butter to the crumbs, and combine until sandy.
- Press the mixture into a tart or pie pan, gently smoothing along the bottom and sides.
- Stick in the freezer for 30 minutes while you wash your dishes and make the filling.
- Whip the cream, cream cheese and Nutella together until well blended and fluffy. Set aside.
- In a microwave safe bowl, heat the cream and chocolate in 30 second intervals, stirring thoroughly each time until fully blended. (It should only take about a minute.)
- Remove the crust from the freezer, and pour the filling into it. Gently pour the ganache on top, dragging a knife through the top to create a design (if you like). Top with extra potato chips (if you want to get fancy).
- Chill at least an hour, but you'll be forgiven if you can't wait.