Melissa Peterman is all about experimenting in the kitchen.

“I consider myself a brave cook, others may say undisciplined but I think brave sounds better,” the Baby Daddy star tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “I’m not afraid to doctor or change a recipe or just throw things together because I think it would taste great.”

Peterman is especially talented at transforming leftovers, whether it’s turning steak into a delicious stir-fry, or adding soda to a sauce for a leftover roast chicken. “I’m good at foraging and putting things together,” she says.

Those cooking skills have come in handy maintaining her “homebody” persona in L.A. with husband, John Brady, and their son Riley, 11. “I like to use food to lure people to my house so I don’t have to leave,” she says. “I always promise to have food and drinks and a pool to swim in if you come over.” The actress learned to navigate her way around the kitchen by watching her mom growing up in Minnesota and collecting her midwestern-style recipes. One of her favorites are the potato chip cookies below, passed down from her mother’s friend Sue Beamer.

“They’re sweet and salty and take me immediately back to my childhood,” she says. “I’m more of a carb girl than sweets so I love it when I can get a little of that together. They’re just really easy and delicious.”

Victor Protasio

Melissa Peterman’s Potato Chip Cashew Cookies

¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. table salt
¾ cup crushed potato chips
½ cup chopped roasted salted cashews

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Beat butter and sugar with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment on medium-high speed until lightened in color and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add egg yolk and vanilla, and beat until just incorporated. Add flour and salt, and beat until well incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Add crushed potato chips and cashews, and stir gently until incorporated.

2. Shape dough into 1½-inch balls, and place them 3 inches apart on a lightly greased baking sheet. Flatten each cookie with a fork.

3. Bake in preheated oven until edges start to turn golden and center is still slightly soft, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove cookies from baking sheet, and place on a wire rack. Cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Makes: About 1½ dozen cookies
Active time: 15 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes

Season 6 of Baby Daddy premieres March 13 at 8:30/7:30c on Freeform.

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