Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

Inspired after visiting Richard Blais’s one day only, pop-up Pork Inspiration Café (a partnership with some of America’s leading pork producers and the charity, Feeding America) to promote the use of “the other white meat” this past Thursday (and to help those in need, donating one serving to a local food bank for every meal served), I decided to try my own hand at bacon chocolate chip cookies.  I took my go-to recipe, which is Alton Brown’s “The Chewy”, and did my own spin with bacon.

A closer look reveals bacon and chocolate living side by side in sweet cookie harmony…

Bacon makes everything better…

It’s so colorful!

Recipe as follows…

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies (Adapted from Alton Brown’s “The Chewy”)

Ingredients

  • 12 oz. bacon (the fattier the better)
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 egg plus 1 yolk
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate chips)

Directions

Cut bacon into small pieces (about 1/4 inch in width), and cook until very crispy.  Remove bacon from the fat and drain on paper towel.  Strain the oil through a fine sieve and set aside.

Melt butter in a small saucepan and set aside.

Combine flour, salt and baking soda in a medium sized bowl and whisk to blend.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, pour the melted butter, bacon oil and add sugars.  Mix at medium speed until combined.

Add egg, egg yolk, milk, and vanilla extract and mix until well combined.

Gradually add flour mixture until thoroughly combined.

Stir in chocolate chips and fried bacon pieces.

Chill for at least an hour.

Before baking, pre-heat oven to 350°.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper, scoop out about a teaspoon of dough each time and form little balls and place on the lined cookie sheets.  Bake for 9-11 minutes or until cookies are golden brown around the edges.

While waiting in line to get into the pop-up café they handed out samples of Richard’s legendary bacon ice cream.  I was dying.  I wanted a tub of the stuff.  The taste was completely indescribable, the hint of saltiness from the bacon coupled with the sweetness of the cream…heaaaven.  I was taken aback by passersby who got samples and either took one bite and threw the sample into the trash, or just made a face after sniffing it and deciding that they weren’t going to try it.  Such a waste!  I wanted to yell, “Give me your samples if you don’t want them!”

Repeat after me: Bacon in baked goods or desserts is not a bad thing.  The cookies were so good, I had 7 of them last night.  I first hesitated to add the maple syrup, but it turned out to have made a big difference.  You could just taste a hint of it in the cookie, without it being overwhelming.  The bacon taste is subtle too, but you are reminded of it when you happen to bite into it and end up chewing on a small bacon piece, along with a dark chocolate chip.

I’ve heard rumors that the bacon trend in baking is dying, but I say bacon will never get old!  I’ve heard about bacon baklava, bacon brownies, bacon cupcakes, chocolate covered bacon…  The possibilities are endless.

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