Sunday, January 22, 2012

Bacon Cookie Showdown

Does anybody not love bacon?  How can you not love something that makes your mouth water and immediately adds ridiculous amounts of flavor?  It always satisfies.  How many things can you say that about?

As badly as I wanted to try the bacon/chocolate trend, I purposely avoided it because, while it sounded like it wouldn't work, I just knew it would.  A couple of weeks ago I foolishly made Maple Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Big mistake.  Huge.  They were as good as I hoped they wouldn't be.  Crispy, sweet, smoky, chocolately.  Just all kinds of yumminess.  

After inhaling about half of the dough, I decided it best to take the cookies to work where they were a big hit.  People posting on Facebook, asking for recipes, and begging (one co-worker actually did beg a little) for me to make them again good.  A colleague from another office complimented them and told me about another bacon cookie that was too-good-to believe.

Enter Bacon Ginger Cookies.  They not only contain bacon, but bacon fat.  You read that right, bacon fat.  Now I live in the South were bacon is practically a food group of its own and I use bacon fat whenever and wherever I can, but it never would have occurred to me to add it to cookies.  

All I can say is, genius.  The ginger cookies were divine.  Ginger cookies with crispy bacon, rolled in sugar, and sprinkled with salt.  Spicy, chewy, smokey, salty and sweet.  What more could you ask for?

I decided to bake another batch of the Maple Bacon Chocolate Chip and see how they fared when they went head to head with Bacon Ginger Cookies.  Which one won?  I think it was a tie.  Some preferred the chocolate and others preferred the spiciness of the ginger cookie.  I don't know that I could pick a favorite.  Both are so, so, so, so good.

Now that I've discovered bacon in sweet stuff, there's no turning back...

Maple Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Noble Pig

8 strips bacon
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Chop bacon into small pieces and cook until crisp.  Drain and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, soda and salt.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars; about three minutes.  Add egg, maple syrup, and vanilla and beat until just blended.  Add the dry ingredients, beat until just incorporated.  Stir in chocolate chips, pecans, and bacon.

Drop large tablespoons of cookie batter onto baking sheet spreading cookies about 2-3 inches apart.  The cookies will spread while baking so make sure to leave plenty of room between cookies.  I bake 8 cookies per sheet.  Baked for 10-12 minutes, until edges are brown.  Do not over bake as they will continue cooking after you pull them out of the oven and will burn easily.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Bacon Ginger Cookies
adapted from Martha Stewart's Holiday Cookies

8 slices bacon, sliced into 1/4 inch dice
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup sorghum (or molasses)
1/2 cup raw sugar (turbinado)
sea salt for sprinkling

Cook bacon until crisp, drain and set aside.  Pour off fat and reserve (let fat cool slightly before pouring as it can break glass containers - I'm speaking from experience).  

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  

Place flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and salt in large bowl and whisk to combine.  

Place butter and sugars in bowl of electric mixer and beat until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.  Beat in reserved bacon fat (about 1/4 cup).  Add egg and mix until blended, scraping down bowl if necessary.  Add sorghum and mix until blended.  With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture and mix until blended.  Stir in bacon.

Shape dough into one inch balls.  Roll each ball in raw sugar and space 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets.  Flatten balls slightly with the palm of your hand.  Sprinkle lightly with sea salt.  Bake until edges are set and tops are cracked, about 8 minutes.  

Let cookies cool on wire rack.  Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature for up to 3 days.  
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  1. You're scaring me - I may have to make this. I am dangerous with bacon. I believe (without knowing for sure) that bacon and chocolate are best friends. Bacon in cookies? Sheer genius!

  2. Oh drool. Crispy around the edges, thin, and deliciously chewy in the middle. I haven't tried the bacon cookie combo yet, but there is little doubt I wouldn't love it. And...doesn't butter make the world a better place?

  3. You're an evil woman - lol. I know I would love these and your bacon chocolate chip cookies too and gain an obscene amount of weight too = )

    Bacon and chocolate make the world go round.

  4. Oh my goodness! These are such a hedonistic cookies, ones that I would imagine falls into an 'ultimate' category! Can't go wrong with either.

  5. Bacon fat in cookies? I'm in! These look great, my husband would be so happy if I made these for him.

  6. Bacon fat in cookies? I'm in! These look great, my husband would be so happy if I made these for him.

  7. oh my goodness! These both sound decadent.


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