In the Red River Valley, where the river runs north, we have potatoes. Lots of potatoes. We cherish our potatoes. And we dip them in chocolate. Heh, I know. You may think I am joking but I am not. Our local candy story makes what they call “chippers’, which are rippled potato chips dipped in chocolate. They would surprise you, they are delicious!
We used to buy boxes and boxes of them for holidays and gift giving. One year we realized it might be fairly easy to make our own. My P.S. got a tip that they used a particular brand of regionally made rippled potato chips and I decided to give it a try.
I wanted the best chocolate I could buy that was available in the form of chips. At the grocery stores I found a brand called “Gourmet” that made milk chocolate chips that were slightly larger than the usual chip. I used those for a few years until they disappeared from the grocery stores. I moved on to Ghirardelli and Guittard milk chocolate chips and had equal success. I think the more you pay for a chocolate chip, the less wax you will find in the chip. That helps when melting and dipping your potato chips.
I’ve developed a method of melting and dipping that works best for me, if you’d like to try them you’re welcome to find a way that’s comfortable for you. I simply use an extension cord and plug in a slow cooker or crockpot and set it on high, with about 4” of water in it.
Then I take a glass bowl that holds about 4 cups and put 2 bags of milk chocolate chips in it. I microwave it for 45 seconds at a time, stirring between times, until they are just melted. Beware of overheating, they will seize up and be unusable!
Once the chips are melted and smooth, set the glass bowl into the slow cooker and the chocolate will stay warm as long as they need to be. Depending on your slow cooker, you may want to put them down to medium or low to prevent overheating the chips on the bottom of the bowl. With use, you’ll figure out the right settings for your equipment. Unfortunately there are so many variables, you have to learn your own limits with your particular equipment.
With my chocolate melted, I open up my ripple chips and pick out a bowlful that aren’t huge or too small. Medium sized works best, for dipping and for eating. I put the chips into a large bowl for easy reaching.
I use 2 or 3 dinner plates covered with sheets of waxed paper to lay the dipped chips on. When a plate is full I set it in the freezer for a few minutes until the next plate is done, just to firm them up. When the next plate is ready for the freezer I remove the first plate, put the chips into a plastic container, and use the first plate again with a fresh sheet of waxed paper if necessary.
For dipping, I simply hold the chip between two fingers and dip. I shake off excess chocolate then place the coated chip on the plate. The chocolate isn’t very hot, your fingers should be able to handle the heat. If not, you could use a fork. I tap each chip on the side of the glass bowl to remove excess chocolate, but not much. I bought a box of chippers from the candy store again recently and noticed they have a lot more chocolate on each chip than I was doing. No wonder mine were disappearing so fast! I decided I liked them with more chocolate and so I don’t tap much off any more; I just dip the chip, give it 3 or 4 taps and it plop on the paper.
I’ve made chippers so much I dip pretty fast and they don’t set up quick enough for me. So each newly filled plate goes into the freezer, then the next time that plate goes into the fridge while the next one goes in the freezer. My freezer is usually too full to handle two plates at a time. The next rotation I take the plate out of the fridge and put them into a container, put the new plate in the freezer and the freezer plate into the fridge. Confusing? You’ll work out your own system, I’m sure.
Of course I had to take it a few steps further, eventually, as I made the chips over the years. I’ve used peanut butter chips and white chips with equal success. I’ve also dipped half of one chip and half of the other chip and had two-flavored chips. Dip half the chip and let them harden, then after one flavor is completely done, start all over and do the second flavor on the second half of the chip.
You could be all designer and sprinkle the chips with crushed nuts or even crushed butterfingers to make them even more decadent before they harden. I’ve never bothered; the potato chips coated with chocolate or peanut butter is plenty for me. I like the salt and chocolate combination by itself.
The chippers fly out of the dish on the Christmas buffet, they are so good. The kids seem to like them best, but I know a few adults (me) who can’t resist them either. This year I made a batch of chippers using 2 bags of milk chocolate chips and another batch of chippers using a bag of milk chocolate and a bag of peanut butter chips. They are both delicious.
2 bags milk chocolate chips (I recommend Ghirardelli, Guittard or another good chocolate)
1 tablespoon shortening for each bag of chips used
1 large bag Lay’s Ripple Chips (or similar ripple chips)
Smaller glass bowl
Slow cooker or Crockpot filled with 4” of water, set on medium
2 dinner plates
Plastic storage containers
Melt the chips and shortening in the glass bowl in the microwave in 25 minute increments until melted. Place in preheated slow cooker to keep warm as you dip the chips. You could also melt them by putting the bowl directly into the slow cooker to melt, but it takes about 30 minutes to melt that way.
Sort out the chips, choosing medium sized ones or snapping the larger ones in half and place in a large bowl. Any shape is delicious. Don’t worry about them being perfectly round chips, the candy store doesn’t!
Using two or three dinner plates, cover with sheets of waxed paper, replacing the paper when necessary.
Using your fingers, dip the chip until both sides are covered, then place on the plate. When the plate is full, set them in the freezer to firm up completely, until the next plate is ready for the freezer. Rotate the plates.
As each plate is firmed up, place the chips into a plastic container. When all chips are done, store the container in the refrigerator until used. They really are best kept chilled. They can be frozen but you can end up with them looking dusty, which is called “bloom”. I don’t freeze them. As a last resort (the fridge is too full) they can be left on the counter at room temp. They’ve lasted for 2 weeks on my counter without losing freshness.