Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Bacon Makes The World Go 'Round

So I've had this particular recipe burning a hole in my consciousness for about a year now, and this past weekend I finally got around to it. Those of you who are familiar with this blog will know about my views on bacon as the perfect food and of my efforts to use it in my cooking in as many ways as possible.

Here's one for ya - Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies.

There's really only one thing to say to that: "Ooooohhhh yeahhhh...."

Now, I know that I am not the first to discover these gems of chocolate porkulence, but I just may be their biggest fan. Yes, I just may...

The first step in this endeavour was, of course, to make the bacon bits. This was my favourite part, but you knew that didn't you? I had two frying pans going at the same time with a growing mound of crispy bacon piling up on the table. Not too shabby. 'Course, it made the entire apartment smell like bacon for about three days afterward. Normally this would be a good thing, but Darlene and I have both been trying to watch what we eat just lately and there's nothing that kills your resolve like a bacon-flavoured apartment. heh.

So that was my task for Friday night. We were heading to Niagara Falls the following day to hang out with some friends and I'd promised to bring a batch of these cookies with us. I figured that it wouldn't take very long to put everything together on Saturday morning as long as the bacon was ready to go.

Other than the bacon bits, this is yer basic chocolate chip cookie recipe, so it was pretty straightforward. The cookies came out smelling WONDERFUL, and were cooled and ready to go by the time we were ready to hit the road.

Now, the recipe for the glaze calls for Maple Extract. I looked, but the grocery store I was in wasn't very good, and they didn't have any. Being pressed for time, I improvised. I figured that since the bacon I bought was already maple-flavoured (Oh yes. This is a good thing.) that maybe it wasn't so important to have maple flavouring in the glaze, too. So, I just used a full tablespoon of the vanilla extract instead.

OK. Now we come to the good part - tasting the little suckers. We each tried one, and although I really liked them Dar wasn't sold. She didn't actively DISlike them, but it was more of a 'meh' thing. I decided I needed to try a second one just to verify my findings. You will like them. I promise you.

The thing is, you can't taste the bacon specifically. You get a sense of the saltiness of the bacon, which nicely balances the sweetness of the chocolate. And of course the cinnamon glaze on the top adds an extra 'oomph' to the cookie.

We had to stop on the way to Niagara at my cousins Ted and Sue's place to drop off a saxophone I'd borrowed. That's a story for another day, but suffice it to say we brought the cookies in and had them try one. After the initial, "Bacon? And chocolate? Really?", they both tried one and seemed to really like them. I was feeling optimistic, as so far three outta four ain't bad.

When we got to Eliot and Claudia's place in Niagara Falls, the first thing we did (after cracking a beer of course) was to bring out the cookies and let everyone try one. It was pretty much unanimous. Bacon cookies good. GOOOOOD....

Now, a word about the rest of the food. The first thing we noticed when we pulled into the driveway was a medium-sized smoker sitting in front of the garage. We had been told that (six pounds of) pulled pork was on the menu for that night, but what we didn't realize was that Eliot had also prepared a brisket for the smoker as well. Damn. It was difficult waiting for the meat to be ready, because we could smell it cooking from the back yard.

Here's Eliot sampling his masterpiece. Diet? What diet? We're talking PULLED PORK here, people.

With the oven-baked potatoes and the best gol-durn brisket I've ever tasted AND salads and bread, we really didn't do a whole lot of moving after dinner. It was great.

Oh yeah, the cookies. Here's the recipe. Once again, I don't remember where I got it, so if you recognize it let me know and I'll credit you.

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

The Cookies
1 C butter, softened
2/3 C packed brown sugar
2/3 C granulated sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2½ C all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 C semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips (or whatever kind you like)
2 C bacon bits
*NOTE* If you want to make your own bacon bits (which I recommend), it takes approximately 2 lbs. of bacon to make 2 C of bacon bits.

Preheat oven to 350F/180C/Gas Mark 4.
Beat together the butter, the sugars and the vanilla until smooth.
Beat in eggs one at a time, until the mixture is creamy.
In another bowl, sift together the flour, the baking soda and the salt.
Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and stir together. The dough will be slightly soft.
*ANOTHER NOTE* The recipe I used suggests that for a 'cakier' cookie, you should add another ½C of flour, but the ones I made (with 2½ C of flour) were nice and light, so govern yourselves accordingly.
Add in the chocolate chips and bacon bits and stir to combine.
*YET ANOTHER NOTE* The recipe suggests putting the dough in the fridge for at least an hour, but I didn't 'cause we were in a hurry. Didn't seem to affect them.
Place parchment paper on the cookie sheet.
Roll a walnut-sized ball of dough in your hands, place on the parchment paper and flatten slightly with two fingers.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the dough starts to turn golden brown.
*AND STILL ONE MORE NOTE* For soft chewy cookies, it is very important that the cookies NOT look completely done when you pull them from the oven. If they look golden brown all over, those cookies will be crunchy when they cool. I'm speaking from experience here.
Allow cookies to cool on a rack while you ready the glaze.

The Maple-Cinnamon Glaze
2 C powdered (icing) sugar
1 tbsp maple extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp cinnamon
enough water to make a thick glaze (I used about 3 tbsp)

Mix all ingredients together until smooth and creamy. If lumpy, use a whisk.
Spread a small amount of the glaze on the top of each cookie.


Segrig said...

pulled pork a.k.a. delicious meat slop.

and i will attest to the tastiness of choco-bacon cookies...mmmm

Lauren said...

Um. Bacon and chocolate chip cookies? Holy cow. I think my hubby would die if I made these!! They look and sound oddly delicious!

(P.S. found or blog on Facebook's Networked Blogs app!)

Lauren :)