To that age-old question of whether bacon belongs in chocolate chip cookies, I say yes. Yes it does.
For a food pairing to go with Whistle Pig rye, I was – naturally – trying to find a recipe for bacon cookies. I came across one that was oatmeal, raisin, and bacon from Bon Appétit. But why would one use raisins when chocolate exists?
Once you start looking, there are a surprising amount of bacon chocolate chip cookie recipes out there, but most require a half cup of bacon fat. If that makes you go “yum,” well that’s interesting. I only like to see my baking fat in certain forms, like butter.
And I liked the oatmeal idea. So I went with the first recipe, substituted chocolate for the raisins, and substituted 3 tablespoons of bourbon for the vanilla.
The result? Bacon bourbon oatmeal chocolate cookies. A nice pairing with Whistle Pig. A nice pairing with life.
While the batch I made was a hit with the whiskey crowd, I would suggest modifications for next time:
Dark chocolate. A commenter on a website convinced me that semi-sweet chocolate chips was the way to go, but I really think a rich, dark chocolate taste from a bar cut into pieces is a better option.
Thick bacon. The pieces should be big enough to bite into one and know what it is.
Less bourbon. I rarely ever write that phrase. But I think it would balance out the taste to keep the one teaspoon of vanilla and then add two tablespoons of bourbon.
More rye. That bottle of Whistle Pig ran out fast! Might want to have two on hand.
· 8 ounces sliced bacon, cut into 1/4-inch squares
· 2 1/4 cups cake flour
· 1 teaspoon baking powder
· 1 teaspoon kosher salt
· 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
· 1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
· 2/3 cup sugar
· 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
· 2 large eggs
· 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
· 2 tablespoons bourbon
· 1 cup old-fashioned oats
· 2/3 dark chocolate cut into pieces
Directions (per Bon Appétit website but ingredients and cooking time modified):
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until deep golden brown and crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels.
Whisk flour and next 3 ingredients in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat both sugars and butter in a large bowl, occasionally scraping down sides, until well blended, 2–3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions. Add vanilla and bourbon; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, 4–5 minutes. Mix in dry ingredients.
Fold bacon, oats, and chocolate into batter and stir until evenly incorporated (dough will be sticky; chill briefly for easier handling, if desired). Using a 2-oz. ice cream scoop or 1/4-cup measure and forming dough into balls, scoop batter onto prepared sheets, spaced at least 3 inches apart. Chill dough for 1 hour or cover and chill overnight.
Arrange racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 350°. Bake cookies, rotating pans halfway through, until edges are light golden brown and centers are still slightly soft about 15 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely. Store airtight at room temperature.