Saturday, December 8, 2012

Maple Chocolate Chip Bacon Cookies, For Serious

Up until about a month and a half ago, Corey and I were vegetarians. For nearly five years, we dutifully substituted meat with their not-at-all-the-same soy counterparts. We embraced meatballs made of nuts, burgers made of mushrooms, and hot dogs made of... not entirely sure... Vegetarianism was easy for us and we were, for the most part, comfortable with our limited menu. 

As a side note: You know people care about you when they recognize the extra preparation required to cook meatless and they still want to have you over for dinner. It's touching, really. 

I'm not sure what it was that finally brought us back to meat or why now, but it was probably a mix of things. The creativity required to eat a balanced vegetarian diet had become tiresome and the reason I originally stopped eating meat was as blurry as my left eye. Something about factory farms or the rainforest or the quality of meat served in the "Bon" (the cafeteria at George Fox University). 

Most people who come off of a vegetarian diet probably do so gradually and cautiously. But there are few things Corey and I go about cautiously. We're more of the dive-in-before-checking-for-crocodiles kind of people. When we decided to eat meat, we were going to EAT MEAT.

Our culinary considerations changed from questions like "Is this made with chicken broth?" to "Can we add bacon to that?"

And it was a variation of that question (asked to Siri) that brought me to this recipe during my holiday baking preparations. What would happen if I added bacon to chocolate chip cookies? Something magical, I assure you.

Maple Chocolate Chip Bacon Cookies

Recipe slightly altered from Shugary Sweets. 
WARNING: This recipe may aid to the clogging of your arteries. Moderation is advised. 

Ingredients (3 dozen)
   3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
   1 3/4 cup light brown sugar
   1/2 tsp kosher salt
   2 eggs
   1 tsp maple extract
   2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
   1/2 tsp baking soda
   1/2 tsp baking powder
   1 cup semi-sweet morsels
   4 thick slices bacon

Lay 4 thick slices of bacon on a small baking sheet lined with foil. Top with 1/3 cup brown sugar. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on piece of foil. Cut into small pieces when cooled and set aside for cookies.
In mixer, beat butter with brown sugar for 4 minutes. Add salt, eggs and maple extract. Slowly add in flour, baking soda and baking powder. Fold in bacon and chocolate chips.
Scoop onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. Allow to sit on pan 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool.

And that's all there is to it! I would recommend making them on the smaller side. They are so decedent that less is more.