Bacon Maple Cookies (plus vegan version!)

Bacon Maple Cookies
Bacon Maple Cookies
I’ve been up to my eyeballs learning web development (specifically, developing wordpress site themes). I’m starting to dream about coding. I actually was dreaming about it in every dream last night!

All that aside, I’ve missed sharing another cookie recipe with you! Bacon Maple Cookies! I have a vegan version I want to try to make as well, so I will post the substitutions in parentheses. You won’t need a maple leaf cookie cutter, but it wouldn’t hurt. 🙂

Bacon Maple Cookies

Refrigerator Cookies
Oven 350°F
1 cup softened butter (or soy-free vegan butter)
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg (or 1 Tablespoon flax seed + 3 Tablespoon water)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt (substitute Bacon Salt if you like!)
2 1/2 cup sifted flour

Cream the butter and sugar together, then add the egg and continue to beat together with the vanilla. In another container, sift the flour, then take the 2 1/2 cups sifted flour and the salt and combine with the butter mixture. Make two balls and put in the refrigerator (you can also roll out 1/4-1/2 inch sheets between wax paper), and chill for 3-4 hours.

After chilled and firm, roll out into a 1/4-1/2 in disk if you haven’t already, and cut out your cookies, placing them on parchment paper or baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, checking to make sure they don’t get but a flush of brown.

Set on a cooling rack. Next it’s time to make the frosting!

1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon softened butter (or soy-free vegan butter)
3 Tablespoon 100% maple syrup
4 strips, thick cut bacon, (1/3 cup vegan bacon bits or vegan bacon)
Extra maple syrup and milk (or soy-free milk replacement) on hand to thin as needed)

Bacon – you can go about this a few ways if you use the real thing. You can fry up the whole pieces, then put them in a food processor and lightly chop them, do it by hand, or cut the small pieces of bacon before you fry them. (The vegan version can use the equivalent to 1/3 cup bacon bits or fry the vegan bacon and chop it up.) When crisp, drain the fat and set bacon on a paper towel to rest.

Mix 1/2 cup of powdered sugar with the softened butter. Then add the maple syrup and the rest of the powdered sugar. If this mixture seems too thick for you, thin out with maple syrup first, and then add milk if you feel you’ve gone into sugar overload and it’s not thin enough!) Add the bacon bits and stir until well combined. Take a small knife and coat the tops of the cooled cookies with the frosting. Let set 30 min before transporting!

As always, let me know if you try this recipe!

More Cookies! Salted Chocolate Shortbread

Salted Chocolate Shortbread
Salted Chocolate Shortbread
I made these cookies over the weekend with the help of a few of my friends. It’s a play on a standard shortbread recipe, and was pretty much totally made up. Because of that, it’s possible that I did it “sub-optimally,” but the result was a darn tasty cookie! For the sea salt, I used three different salts available at Whole Foods in Los Altos, CA. I had to ask the cheese counter for the salts, as that they were not out on the counter. The employee, though, was happy to go to the back and get the six salts available, and portioned out my request (small amounts) with no complaint. I spent about $3 on a tiny amount of salt, but it was well worth it. I used lavender flower, pink large crystal, and smoked sea salts. The lavendar salt went the fastest, but the pink large crystal salt was often commented on as being the tastiest, with the chocolate becoming more pronounced thanks to the salt.

Salted Chocolate Shortbread

Oven 350°F

2 sticks (cups) butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 oz fine unsweetened chocolate
2 tablespoons of at least one variety of fancy sea salt (large crystals)

Cream the butter with an electric mixer, then add the sugar and vanilla and cream until almost fluffy. Melt the unsweetened chocolate on the stove under low heat, stirring frequently, Remove from heat once it is melted and set aside. Mix the chocolate in with the butter. In another bowl, combine the salt and flour. With a wooden spoon, fold the flour mix into the butter mix. Don’t be afraid to not stir it in completely.

Use wax paper to either roll out the dough into a disk, about 1/2 inch thick or roll 1-2 small cookie logs. Make sure they’re covered with wax paper or plastic wrap. Put these in the refrigerator for at least an hour. After an hour has passed, either use a cookie cutter on the disk, or cut 1/2 in slices of the cookie log and place them on an ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle about two pinches of coarse sea salt on each cookie. You can also use parchment paper on the sheet for easy clean up. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until just a little browned. Cool on a cooling rack and enjoy!

Cookies as Therapy

I’m a fan of The Stranger, Seattle’s alternative news weekly. They do great stuff. I read most of what the Stranger writers have to say through their blog, Slog. Through my recent cookie-mania I was reminded of a piece by Megan Seling that I first became aware of last year, an entire year after it was originally published. It’s still great. It’s called The Long Winter. Her piece tells a familiar (to me, and I’m sure others) story of winter depression and her resolve to bake every cookie in Martha Stewart Holiday Cookies Special Issue. This wasn’t a Julie & Julia stunt, this was real in a way that didn’t have “book deal” written all over it.

Interestingly, she posted that she has recently found a blog (Every Last Cookie) “in which a college sophomore (a “studio art major”) is promising to make all the cookies in Martha Stewart’s Cookies cookbook by the time she graduates.”.

It’s been done, Ms. Seling points out.

I recommend checking out The Long Winter. It’s a piece that still rings true, years later.

Mint Chocolate Refrigerator Cookies

I made these cookies yesterday, and even calculated the Weight Watchers points for them! As before, let me know if you try them and how they worked out for you! I’m working on figuring out how to best present my recipes, so bear with me as I try different formats!

POINTS® Value: 2
Servings: 36

Preparation Time: 20 min
Cooking Time: 12 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy

1/2 pound unsalted butter
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon mint extract
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/8 teaspoon table salt, pinch
2 Tablespoon milk

Cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer, then add the egg. Beat until combined thoroughly, scraping the sides of the bowl.

In another bowl, mix the flour, salt, cocoa, and baking powder. Slowly add the dry mix to the butter mixture, adding the milk so it can be well combined.

Roll out into 1/8-1/4 in sheets or into a log to refrigerate. Refrigerate for 2 hours or up to 2 days.

Use a cookie cutter or knife to cut cookies. Cookies should be between 1/8 in to 1/4 in thick. Place on a cookie sheet (preferably on parchment paper) evenly spaced, and bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool on the sheet for 2 minutes, then place on a cooling rack.

Brandied Cherry Chocolate Chunk Cookies

While I wait for butter to soften for my next cookie experiment, I thought I’d share one of my recent experiments. My recipe was adapted from Mark Bittman’s Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies in How to Cook Everything.

1/2 pound unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups extra bittersweet chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli’s 72% for Baking, which are large chips)
1 oz baker’s chocolate
1 oz extra bittersweet chocolate chips
about 1 cup of brandy to cover cherries (reserve liquid after soaking)
1 cup dried cherries

Oven 375?F

Put dried cherries in a bowl, add brandy enough to cover, set aside to soak.

Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer, then add the eggs one at a time and beat until well blended

Mix flour, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl. Melt the bakers chocolate and 1 oz of the extra bittersweet chocolate. Next add the dry ingredients to the eggs, butter and sugar, beating a bit, then adding the vanilla and the melted chocolate. After everything has been well beaten together, strain the cherries and reserve the brandy liquid. Add the cherries to the mixture with two tablespoons of the brandy that they soaked in. Finally, stir in the chips.

Use two spoons to scoop out about a table spoon of cookie dough on a baking sheet. I highly recommend parchment paper if you have it! Bake for 10 minutes until lightly brown. Cool on racks for 2-3 minutes and store in a cookie tin or plastic sealed container for no more than 2 days.

Let me know if you try this and if it works for you!