Now that the holidays are over most of you will already be thinking about your new year’s resolutions, including, no doubt, a return to healthier eating and a new (or more strictly adhered to) exercise regime. I certainly include myself in this – as much as I enjoyed last night’s dinner which consisted of nothing but Christmas cookies and Lebkuchen, I am already devising a new training plan to get my running fitness (which has suffered a bit this year) back. But at least my own holidays are not over until I return to work on the 7th of January. And as I had some leftover bacon from the Pasta Carbonara Alessandro made for my family a few days ago this left me with no choice but to finally make a batch of bacon and chocolate chip cookies.
These cookies are very much a case of “go big or go home” – in addition to a generous helping of chopped crispy bacon, these cookies are also made with browned butter and brown sugar, giving them a butterscotch flavour which goes incredibly well with the salty bacon. And although I reduced the sugar quite a bit, any health benefit this might have had is obliterated by the handful of chocolate chips I added and the blood pressure-raising sea salt I scattered on top of the cookies before baking.
So yes, these cookies are the epitome of holiday indulgence and extravagance, but they taste absolutely divine. My dad, usually the most restrained person I know when it comes to snacking, ate 3 fresh out of the oven. And my mum? After I gave her one of the still warm cookies, she also finished mine (which I had, carelessly as it now seems, left on a plate on the little coffee table sitting between us as I went to take the second batch of cookies out of the oven).
So yeah, go and make these, but be quick – soon enough you will be inundated with offers for cheap gym subscriptions and others’ new year’s resolutions which will make you feel guilty if you only so much as look at a cookie, let alone bake a whole batch of bacon-studded chewy chocolate chip cookies. So bake these while you can still enjoy them guilt-free knowing your own new year’s resolutions will soon start calling you to turn your mind to healthier pursuits.
Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes ca. 2 dozen, recipe roughly based on this recipe
100g bacon, finely diced
110g caster sugar
110g brown sugar
2 medium eggs
240g all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
100g dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1. Fry the diced bacon in a dry frying pan on medium heat until crispy. Drain the bacon on a plate lined with paper towels and let the bacon come to room temperature before mixing in with the other ingredients.
2. Warm the butter in a small pan on medium heat until the butter smells nutty and is golden in colour. Set aside and leave till the butter solidifies again.
3. To make the cookies, start by creaming the butter together with the two types of sugar – this should take ca. 5 minutes.
4. Add the 2 eggs, one after another, making sure the first egg is well incorporated before you mix in the second egg.
5. Mix the baking powder with the flour and combine with the butter-egg-sugar mix.
6. Mix in the diced bacon and the chopped dark chocolate.
7. Let the dough rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour and up to 36 hours.
8. When ready to bake the cookies, pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees. Place drops of dough the size of 2 tablespoons on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, leaving some space between the cookies as they will spread in the oven. Flatten the dough with a spoon and sprinkle some sea salt on each cookie. Bake cookies for ca. 12 minutes.