Saturday, May 14, 2011
The one where I made bacon cookies
Yes, bacon cookies. Cookies of the sweet variety. I saw the recipe in a book PB gave me for Christmas, Foodista, which is a collection of recipes from blogs all over the world. So I had to make them, just once. Just so I could say I had made, and tasted, bacon cookies. Who puts bacon in cookies? a genius! the sweet and salty contrast is a party in your mouth and of course from a nutritional standpoint, increasing the protein content of a cookie has to be a good thing. Does it matter that the saturated fat and sodium content go up too? Do I care? Not really, no one makes bacon cookies for nutritional reasons. It's all about being a foodie and I do call myself one so I kinda had to.
I'll get straight to it. Here is the recipe that many of you who sampled the goods have been asking for. It's from bellyuptotheblog
6 strips bacon
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 1/2 cups whole grain rolled oats (not instant)
3/4 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup dried cherries
3/4 cup chocolate chips
sea salt or finishing salt, preferably Maldon (optional)
1) first make the candied bacon. Preheat oven to 350F with rack in middle of oven. Par cook the bacon in a pan to render the fat. remove from pan and pat with paper towel to remove excess grease. Mix maple syrup with brown sugar and rub to coat the bacon when it's cooled enough to touch.
2) Place bacon on parchment paper and bake for 14 mins, flipping the bacon halfway through cooking time. When done, lift parchment paper and let bacon cool. When cooled and the sugars have solidified, pulse coarsely in food processor or chop with knife to obtain pieces the size of chocolate chips.
3) to make the dough, you can toast the oats in a large dry skillet unlit light brown. Or use untoasted.
4) Using a stand mixer with paddle attachment, whip the butter and sugars until fluffy ( i do not have a stand mixer so I just used a electric hand whisk and it worked fine). Add the egg and vanilla and mix for 30 seconds until blended.
5) Whisk the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the beaten butter on a low speed until fully incorporated.
6) gradually add the oats( I mixed manually using a spatula for the this step), followed by the candied bacon bits, dried cherries, and chocolate chips just until the ingredients are incorporated throughout the dough.
7) For each cookie, scoop out 2 tbsp dough and roll in to a ball and then press into a patty cake about 1/4 inch thick. Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment. They will spread a bit so space out accordingly. Sprinkle tops with finishing salt.
8)put cookies in oven and check at 12 mins. They could take up to 15 mins. Cool on wire rack.
I made the cookies as directed but I did not use a food processor to chop the bacon and I did not use a stand mixer to make my cookie dough. I also did not have any cherries so I omitted them from the recipe.
I took the cookies to bookclub that evening and people were tentative to taste them but were brave and took on the challenge. They all agreed they would not have know there was bacon in there had I not told them. Although the cookies contained egg, I did sample one as it was only 1 egg for about 20 cookies so the amount per cookie was below my tolerance threshold. i took the remainder to work and the cookie monsters I work with loved them. It lead to a discussion about vegetarianism and how bacon is considered the gateway meat. That means it's the one meat the vegetarians generally have a hard time resisting and if they do cave, it's usually to bacon. Someone told me that there is a chemical in bacon that makes this possible. I have researched this on the web and not found evidence to support this but there is a lot of discussion out there...check it out.
So the moral of the story is... bacon tastes good, however you use it. I made extra candied bacon and used in a spinach salad later in the week. It was bacon-licious. My mind is now pondering the endless possibilities of bacon. It's quite overwhelming.