smoky bacon ginger cookies

smoky bacon ginger cookies

Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness!

(That’s my edited version of the string of happy and amazed expletives that Danny shouted in the bedroom as he ate the first of these cookies.)

Really, I don’t have to say much, do I? Those of you who are perplexed and even offended at the idea of bacon in a cookie? You are silly. In this case, you should bend your mind around it and take a bite.

For those of you who are drooling, here’s the recipe.

smoky bacon ginger cookies II

Smoky Bacon Ginger Cookies, adapted from Martha Stewart’s cookies iPad app

Now, before you start thinking that we have lost our finds with wacky bacon experimentation, may I tell you something? This recipe is adapted from one by Martha Stewart. Martha Stewart, people! She’s not exactly known for her avante garde flavor profiles. However, in her new cookies iPad app (and boy, that puppy is worth every penny), this recipe showed up in the Trendsetters section. Well, if you haven’t had bacon — and we mean real bacon — in a dessert yet, this is the time.

The edges of these cookies are crisp, like the dream of a gingersnap. As you crunch toward the center, you’ll find the cookie growing more and more chewy, without ever turning gooey. The taste is definitely ginger, mellowed a bit by the subtle taste of sorghum syrup. And throughout are bits of crisp bacon, sea salt on top. What more do you need?

Well, you need a bite of this cookie, so start baking.

8 ounces thick-cut smoked bacon (here in the Seattle area, we used Hempler’s), cut into 1/4-inch dice
350 grams flour (if you are gluten-free, use our AP mix, plus ½ teaspoon xanthan gum and ¼ teaspoon guar gum)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (we recommend Saigon cinnamon)
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons, plus 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/3 cup sorghum syrup (or molasses, if you cannot find sorghum syrup)
raw sugar for rolling
smoked sea salt for sprinkling

Cooking the bacon. Set a large skillet over medium heat. Put the bacon dices into the hot pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon bits are crisp and have released their fat entirely. Reserve the bacon fat (you want about ¾ cup, plus 2 tablespoons) and set aside the crisp bacon (about ¾ cup as well) on a paper towel. Let the bacon and fat cool.

Preparing to bake. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combining the wet ingredients. Pour the flour (and if you are gluten-free, the gums), baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk them together to combine well and aerate the flour.

Creaming the butter, sugar, and bacon fat. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the butter and brown sugar and white sugar until they become fluffy together, about 3 minutes. Add the bacon fat and mix well, about 1 minute.

Finishing the dough. Add the egg and mix until well blended. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour in the sorghum syrup and mix until it has disappeared into the dough. On slow speed, pour in the dry ingredients, mixing until just blended. Toss in the bacon bits and fold them in with the rubber spatula.

Baking the cookies. Roll the dough into a 1-inch ball, then roll it in the raw sugar to coat entirely. Put the balls of dough 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. (You’ll need to make 3 or 4 cookie sheets full, so just be prepared to bake for a bit.) Flatten the balls of dough a bit, then top with a pinch of the smoked sea salt. Slide the sheet tray into the oven and bake until the edges of each cookie is starting to crisp but the center is still soft, about 8 minutes. (Turn the baking sheet halfway through.) Trust us — you might think these cookies are not done yet. They will harden and set as they cool.

Allow the cookies to cool on a rack until they have not a bit of warmth to them, about 15 minutes.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

20 thoughts on “smoky bacon ginger cookies

  1. Yes! These look incredible! I use an AP gf flour that I love, so to find recipes with weight measures is crucial & much appreciated.

  2. I’m looking over the recipe, making sure I have all the ingredients to make these in a day or two (I can’t wait! These cookies look amazing.), and I have one question… when is the smoked sea salt supposed to be used? Should it be sprinkled on when we remove the cookies from the oven?

  3. Do you have a reccomendation on the smoked sea salt? (also in the Seattle area) Was thinking of trying the Salish alder smoked.

  4. Oh my goodness. I can see why you two were swearing… I just ate one and they’re INSANELY good! (As for following that last instruction, about waiting for the cookies to cool? Yeah… so didn’t happen. ~_^)

  5. Made these today….OMFG!!!! Sooooooo gooooood!!!! Will be making these to add to my Christmas gift baskets, but seeing as this batch is almost half eaten/given away already I will have to make another batch.

    @Shawn I had the Salish Smoked salt…I love it, but found it a little too smoky for this. After the first batch, I mixed it together with some regular sea salt, half and half and it was perfect for me. Maldens is good too and nice and flaky, I was out but would have used that

  6. I just cooked off a pound of bacon (2x what the recipe calls for), which barely rendered 1/3 cup of fat. I’m going to forge ahead with unsalted butter to make up the diff, but wanted to warn others that you may need to hit up your grease-saving friends and relatives! Or ring your neighbor’s bell and ask to borrow a cup of bacon grease.

  7. LOVE this recipe. One note: I needed WAY more than 8 oz of thick cut bacon to get 3/4 cup of bacon bits and bacon fat, respectively. So other cooks, you should know that your bacon mileage may vary.

    Also, can someone come to my house and take some of these away from me? I’ve eaten way too many of these cookies today! *reaches for another*

  8. 350gm converts to 12.3 oz, in case your scale doesn’t do both. Many electric scales can do gram weights, as well. As someone else noted, 8 oz bacon didn’t produce enough bacon or bacon fat…I ended up adding 4 oz butter instead. Used light brown sugar as I didn’t have dark handy. I also found the cookies to be VERY sweet, so instead of rolling them totally in raw sugar, I just did the tops, and I topped them with sea salt. Seriously tasty cookies!! Now I have to figure out why they spread so much…they didn’t look much like the pictures, but they sure do taste yummy!! Now to test them on the family…. =)

  9. As always I love your recipes! I made some conversions to make these dairy and egg free to accommodate my family’s needs and would like share for others.

    We make our own brown sugar as needed (super easy. give it a try!)
    I used Ener-G egg replacer but I think I could have used ground flax seed or chia seeds in this recipe with equally good results
    I used Oscar Meyer nitrite/nitrate free bacon which only yielded 1/3 c of grease so I used palm shortening for the remaining fat
    I used Earth Balance soy-free spread for the butter
    I used Salish Smoked Salt (heavenly on roasted broccoli too!)

    They turned out really nice and I shipped most of them away to family as part of their Christmas gift.

    Thank you for sharing the recipe

  10. I saw this recipe in Martha Stewart’s 2010 Holiday Cookie special magazine and was searching the internet for reviews on the recipe since its apparently on her IPad app and not on her site. I’m so glad to see all the tips great here! I’ll add one for you. In the magazine, the packaging on these cookies was pretty clever. They were packaged in a square (about 4-5″) kraft brown box with holiday ribbons on the outside, BUT on the inside flap, they stamped the below image in red ink:

    They used this artwork to have a stamp made from StampWorx 2000 in NYC. It was pretty cute with the pig image!

    Happy Cooking!

  11. A friend was hosting an Asian-grill-themed barbecue at their house, and asked me to bring a dessert. I candied the uncured bacon pieces with brown sugar, sesame oil, and sesame seeds, before adding them to these cookies. The sesame and ginger turned out to be a terrific salty/sweet/savory mix, and the cookies were a hit. The only downside to this recipe is that it took me a really, really, REALLY long time to measure, mix, and bake. Altogether, I ended up with a LOT of cookies (40 or so?). Thank you for posting this!

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