I knew I wanted to try this recipe as soon as I saw it in my reader. I've been intrigued by the chocolate-bacon pairing for a while and have just been waiting for the perfect recipe to try. If you think putting bacon in a cookie sounds weird or gross, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised! The bacon adds a nice smokiness to the cookies, but it doesn't make them overwhelmingly porky. The bacon flavor is really subtle, and the saltiness works perfectly with the chocolate. Typically I like a cakey chocolate chip cookie, but I really enjoyed this crispier version for these cookies. It complimented the crispiness of the bacon nicely, so the bacon sort of just melded into the cookie.
If I'm being honest, I almost didn't make these after I sampled the brown sugar-coated bacon on its own. It was so good that I could have just eaten that and been a very happy girl. But because I have some serious will-power, I forged ahead with the cookies, and I'm glad I did. They're so different and delicious. And Joe loved them; combining two of his favorite things, chocolate chip cookies and pork fat, they are pretty much the perfect man food.
Candied Bacon Chocolate Chunk Cookies
source: Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks or chips
1 cup candied bacon bits (recipe follows)
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line three baking sheets with a silicone liner or parchment paper.
2. Beat the sugars and butter together until smooth. Mix in the egg, vanilla, and baking soda. Whisk together the flour and salt, then sift them into the batter. Stir in the chocolate chunks and bacon bits.
3. Using a small cookie scoop or a teaspoon, scoop the cookie dough into small balls, about 1 inch in diameter, and place them 2 inches apart on each of the baking sheets.
4. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, or until pale golden brown. Rotate sheets halfway through baking for even browning. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Makes about 3 dozen 2-inch cookies.
Candied Bacon Bits
8 strips bacon
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Lay the strips of bacon on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or aluminum foil, shiny side down.
3. Sprinkle half of the brown sugar evenly over each strip of bacon.
4. Bake for about 15 minutes. (Mine definitely took longer to get crispy -- probably about 20 minutes.) Midway during baking, flip the bacon strips over and drag them through the dark, syrupy liquid that’s collected on the baking sheet. Add the rest of the brown sugar and continue to bake until a deep mahogany color. Remove from oven and cool the strips on a wire rack.
5. Once crisp and cooled, chop into little pieces, about the size of grains of rice. Candied bacon bits can be stored in an airtight container and chilled for a day or so, or stored in the freezer a few weeks ahead.