Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Bacon Cookies and Goodbyes

So, Pete left a couple of days ago for Hawaii...and for those of you who don't know, it's not a vacation. He's living there for a minimum of 6 months (as per the lease that he secured today) and gets to make coffee with an ocean breeze on his face. Not that I'm bitter. If you want to know more about his new and awesome hijinks check out the link for his blog on my sidebar (UnLandLocked). In honor of the departure of my oldest friend, I will finally post about the bacon cookies experiment, the most successful of the savory/sweet concoctions. 
So, the recipe was given to Pete and I by some of the people at Kaldi's (a coffee company out of St. Louis) when we were there for a jam early in November. We started talking about the bacon+chocolate candy bar and we found out there were plenty of people who were just as interested in this unorthodox mix as we were. 

So, the cookies themselves were actually bacon, oatmeal and butterscotch chip. The baking portion went well, as chronicled in these pictures...

So first things first- bake off the bacon. We purchased 3 different types of bacon for this experiement- Thick cut hickory smoked, thick cut smoked, and regular hickory smoked. All were basted with a mixture of maple syrup and apple cider vinegar. mmm...

In the inevitable nibbling that went on as we took it off the baking sheets we decided that thinner cut was really the way to go, and the fattier the better. We then went about following the recipe and making the dough. Here it is after the first helping of bacon-

Stir it in!

After a taste, we quickly decide that it needs something...

More bacon!

We then let them bake for about 10 minutes-

and while we wait, Pete can't help himself-

And the finished product-

So that's bacon cookies in a nut shell. They were actually quite fabulous. Pete can put in his two cents via comments. If anyone wants the recipe, leave a comment and I will email it to you to try out. There are some things I have learned about baking with bacon-

1-NEVER use bacon grease in place of oil or butter. It's not that it tastes bad, but it makes you feel funny later. 
2-Don't think you need to balance out the bacon with darker chocolate or more butterscotch chips than the recipe calls for. Bacon honestly can't hold its own as well as you might think. Milk chocolate is a better vehicle than dark chocolate.
3-Tiny chunks of bacon are not as effective as medium sized chunks. It really doesn't take much sugar to drown it out (see #2)
4-Thinner cut/fatty bacon is better for baking than what you would normally choose to consume on its own. 
5-Bacon has its limits. It's sometimes better as a pairing of sorts, rather than being integrated into something else.

So, there you have it. That's bacon baking. I don't know if this will be of interest to anyone in particular, but if you are interested just let me know and I will provide you with a few ideas to get you started.