Yes. I know. Bacon cookies. Ridiculous. But, let me give you a bit of back story:
I recently had the pleasure of indulging in the maple-bacon snicker doodles at the recently opened Kitchenette SF, conveniently located only a few blocks from my office. And let me tell you – they were nothing short of amazing. The smokey flavor of bacon is the ideal compliment to any spicy sweet sort of flavor. So, I got to thinking – I’ve got to try this for myself.
1/2 c rendered bacon fat, cooled
1/3 c shortening
1 c sugar + 1/3 c sugar
4 tbsp molasses
2 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
yields about 36 cookies
1. Render bacon fat. To do this, I bought a relatively inexpensive package of maple-smoked bacon. I cut each slice horizontally into about 5 pieces and fried it up in a large skillet. Took me about three batches to get everything. After each batch, I poured the fat into a bowl. After I finished frying every piece of bacon, I put the bowl in the fridge for it cool.
As an aside, for those of you who cook a lot of bacon – I know some people who keep a small jar of rendered bacon fat in their fridge. I’m still new at this cooking with bacon thing, but I hear that it makes an excellent substitute for olive oil in salad dressing.
Simply Recipes has a good article about that here.
2. Once bacon fat is cooled – combine all ingredients except extra 1/3 c of sugar into a large mixing bowl until a moist dough is formed. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge. Allow dough to set for at least 4 hours.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove dough from fridge. Dough should be firm but not hard. With a teaspoon, form small balls with the dough and coat with sugar. Add a handful of pieces of bacon bits to the top. These cookies really spread out when you bake them, so be conservative with the size of the cookie dough balls and be sure that there is plenty of space between each one.
4. Bake for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool on a rack.