Sunday, 22 May 2011

Chocolate Chip and Candied Bacon Cookies... IT WORKS!

One of my favourite food blogs, How Sweet It Is, posted a recipe for Candied Bacon a few weeks ago, and more recently, Peanut Butter cookies with Candied Bacon. The author is crackers. I was intrigued.

On Friday night, I was bored, faffing on Amazon, and came across the Flavour Thesaurus and promptly ordered it (it's scary how easy it is to order from Amazon. It does, however, explain my groaning kitchen shelves). Being the impatient soul I am, I downloaded the sample to my kindle, which gives you the first few pages for free. I got into bed with my hot milk (I know, I know, I'm in my 20's, only just however, but I was tired and I'm getting ill. That's this weekends excuse anyway!) Included in these first few free pages was Chocolate and, low behold, there it was - Chocolate and Bacon. It was a sign, it had to be done.

Inspired by the crazy nature of How Sweet It Is (and not exactly a fan of peanut butter), I made the candied bacon and added it to my adapted Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe as a little Sunday afternoon experiment and taste test for hubby.

I'm in love.

I made the bacon, coated it in chocolate, and handed a piece to hubs as I couldn't keep my little secret any longer. Liquorice? he guessed... erm nope, guess again! I couldn't wait and let the cat out of the bag. He pulled a face then realised he was enjoying what he was eating before stating in an authoritarian way 'Oh yes, that works'.  Funny how the brain tells us what not to like when our taste buds tell us differently.

It's really important to use smoked bacon here; it really adds another dimension. What I love about this is the classic sweet and salty contrast that works so well - salted caramel anyone? You can't really recognise the bacon - you know there is something different but you can't put your finger on what. And the texture! The crunch of the bacon, the chewy cookie, the smooth chocolate combined creates a sensation for the senses.

Anyway, here it is. Thanks, How Sweet It Is, for the candied bacon and for planting the seed. This is a keeper.

Chocolate Chip and Candied Bacon Cookies

For the bacon
  • 6 slices smoked streaky bacon
  • 2.5 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 150g dark chocolate
For the cookies
  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 150g brown sugar
  • 150g white granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla essence
  • 300g plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 175g chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)
Note, if you don't want to use the bacon, substitute with nuts of your choice, or just leave them out altogether. Also, add 1/2 tsp salt to the flour.

1. Pre heat your oven to 180, line 2 baking sheets with greaseproof paper and leave a third un-lined

Chocolate covered candied
 bacon - what's not to like!?
2. Mix together the 2.5 tbsp brown sugar and the cinnamon and coat your bacon slices.  Bake for 25 minutes, turning once half way through.  Leave to cool on kitchen paper and resist eating a piece (or make extra so you can munch while you wait).

3. Melt 150g dark chocolate in a bowl over barely simmering water, ensuring the water doesn't touch the bowl.  When melted, cover your bacon in the chocolate and place on greasproof paper to set.  If it's a warm day, place the covered bacon in the fridge to set whilst you make your cookie dough.

4. Cream the butter and sugars together in a mixer with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy.

5. Add the eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly in between.  Ad the vanilla and mix again until weel incorporated.

6. Mix the flour and salt together, add to the mixer and mix until combined.  Do not over mix.

7. Break your set chocolate covered bacon into smallish chunks (scissors make this job easier). Fold the chocolate bacon and chocolate drops into the dough.  If the dough is loose, leave in the fridge for 5 minutes to firm.

8. Using an ice-cream scoop, place balls of the mixture on the baking trays.  These are very large cookies and you will only get three per tray (the mixture makes 12).  Bake for 15 minutes.  The edges will be golden and the middle won't feel set.  Don't worry, they will firm up as they cool.  Once cool enough to handle, transfer to a wire rack.

You can either bake the remaining cookie dough or freeze for a later date.  I can only eat one of these bad boys at a time, so I scoop the rest of the mixture into balls, freeze on a tray and, when frozen, transfer to a freezer bag.  They can be baked from frozen but may take a few minutes more.


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