There was a time in my life when I believed that bacon didn’t belong in desserts. I know, it’s unimaginable. My first foray into bacon-laden sweets was a batch of chocolate chip cookies. I chopped some bacon up, added it to the batter, held my breath, and hoped for the best. This was a turning point in my life.
I agree that bacon can be over-used. Like any other trendy ingredient, there are times when the line should be drawn. Bacon lip balm? I don’t think so. And that bacon air freshener a friend bought my husband for his car? Makes me gag. But there’s just something about this salty meat that, when used appropriately, brings a perfect balance to a treat that may otherwise be too sweet. Equilibrium is achieved, and bliss is attained.
I have been operating under the false memory that I have already talked about Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies on this blog. When I begged my husband to bake me some cookies and asked if I could shoot some photos of them to spiff up the old post, he agreed. But my search turned up empty–this post did not exist. How could this be?! Something so fundamental, something so formative in future bacon confections, was nowhere to be found?! This must be remedied immediately!
You can take this up to 11 by candying the bacon first, but I really love the simplicity of this execution. It’s a great gateway dessert to future dabbling with bacon in your baking. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
- 2¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ cup (8 Tablespoons) butter, softened
- ½ cup solid bacon fat (reserved from cooking bacon; you may need to save this from a few batches in an air-tight container in your refrigerator before baking these cookies; I always have a jar of bacon fat on hand)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 2 large eggs
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 2 cups milk chocolate chips
- ½ pound bacon strips, cooked and chopped
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and cayenne. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, bacon fat, and sugars until light and fluffy (about 3-5 minutes).
- Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing until the first is fully incorporated before adding the next. Scrape down the sides in between.
- Stir in the vanilla bean paste.
- With the mixer on medium low, slowly add the flour mixture, beating until just combined.
- Remove from mixer and stir in the walnuts, chocolate chips, and bacon by hand, mixing until just incorporated.
- Portion out the dough with a #40 cookie scoop, placing about 8 per sheet to allow enough room for spreading.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are browned and the tops are lightly browned.
- Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.