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Sweet and Savory: Odd Food Combinations

We don't raise an eyebrow at carrot cake or peanut butter cookies. No one is alarmed by pumpkin pie. But is the world ready for potato-chip cookies?

Finding savory or other unusual ingredients in sweet baked goods was not uncommon 100 years ago, when frugal housewives used every leftover bit of food. Along the way, they learned some things.

Mashed potatoes and sauerkraut make excellent cake-moisteners. Mayonnaise is also good for baking, since it's mostly eggs and oil.

Retro foods are trendy and some recipes are making a comeback, which helps explain why Scharffen Berger — one of the companies that gave dark chocolate the same status as fine wine — has a cocoa-based sauerkraut cake on its Web site.

Weekend Edition Sunday commentator Bonny Wolf shares some of her favorite combinations of ingredients.

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Bonny Wolf
NPR commentator Bonny Wolf grew up in Minnesota and has worked as a reporter and editor at newspapers in New Jersey and Texas. She taught journalism at Texas A&M University where she encouraged her student, Lyle Lovett, to give up music and get a real job. Wolf gives better advice about cooking and eating, and contributes her monthly food essay to NPR's award-winning Weekend Edition Sunday. She is also a contributing editor to "Kitchen Window," NPR's Web-only, weekly food column.