29 September 2010

A Twist on Chocolate Chip Cookies--Bacon!

"Bacon Tastes Goooood"--Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction

"Mmmm. Move over, eggs. Bacon just got a new best friend - fudge."--Homer Simpson
Well, in this case, not fudge, but chocolate chip cookies.  I know it sounds like a horrible combination, but I discovered it a little while ago in a blog called Pete Bakes! and I knew I had to try it.  Chocolate chip cookies were the first thing I really ever cooked on my own.   I was maybe in 4th grade, I can't remember.  But what I do remember is how much I loved them.  Now, I figured I also love bacon.  Why not combine them?

It does sound crazy, I fully acknowledge that.  But I've tried salted caramel--awesome.  Chocolate covered pretzels--yummy.  Chocolate dipped potato chips--so wrong and yet so right.  So that salty-sweet combination is something that I find fantastic.  The best of both worlds and they are again brought together, and include bacon.

I do love bacon, but I rarely eat it.  It's just one of those things, that when you want it, you need it.  I'm not quite as bad as the Bacon Explosion guys, that is just a lot of pork products in one sitting.  But cookies with bacon is just a little way to incorporate a little more love into the day.  In this recipe, I made candied bacon, which is pretty simple, and could be good in a variety of recipes (spinach salad w/bleu cheese and pears, sprinkle some candied bacon on, that kind of thing....)

Anyway, I hope you all enjoy this as much as I did...and I hope my bro in Afghanistan does, too, because there are some on the way!

Candied Bacon
6 oz sliced bacon
Brown sugar for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Lay bacon on a parchment covered baking sheet so they are not overlapping. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly on each strip of bacon (I really have no idea how much I used, check out the pictures for the general idea).
Bake for 8 minutes, remove from oven, flip bacon and drag it through the syrupy liquid that’s collected on the baking sheet and put the it back in the oven for another 5-8 minutes, until it is fully cooked and a very dark mahogany color.  
From Left: too done, just right, not enough
The length of time will depend on how thick the bacon is sliced.  If you buy the thick cut, which would work a little better, you'll need to leave it in the over for a little while longer, just keep an eye on it.  

Remove the strips from the sheet and cool on a wire rack. Once they are cool and crispy, chop them up roughly.

Chocolate chunk cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
10 oz bitter sweet chocolate (I used bars and just chopped into chunks) 

Candied Bacon from above recipe

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate and bacon. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.  

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