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, 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.