I like baking; it's edible chemistry. I can do chemistry. Cooking terrifies me 'cause it's all unregimented in ways that I never learned how to troubleshoot, but I find baking easy -- medatative, even. (Unless things are going badly and I can't figure out why, in which case I have occasionally tried to behead innocent bystanders with pie plates.) And I like feeding people, especially with things they've maybe never tried before or wouldn't bother making for themselves. So what exactly does a grammar monkey bake for a triple-bachelor birthday/house party/post-Piratepalooza party/all-around sin fest?
Double-Chocolate Bacon Cookies
(Makes 24 cookies)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or 1/2 a vanilla pod, scraped)
Dash of scotch/whisky, if you happen to have some (~1 tablespoon)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda [NOTE: If you're using Dutch-process (aka pre-alkalized) cocoa powder, you should use baking POWDER instead. Otherwise you'll end up with oven-baked pancakes.]
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
6 strips of smoky bacon (a little less than 1 pound uncooked; it should be ~1/2 c. once chopped)
1) Set out your butter and egg to allow them to approach room temperature.
2) Cook off the bacon -- err on the side of extra-crispy, but don't burn it all to hell. Drain on paper towels and allow to cool completely, then run it through a food processor (or y'know a knife) until it's basically largish bacon bits. Set the bits on a paper towel to drain (again).
3) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
4) In large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy -- a couple minutes on medium with an electric mixer should do it.
5) Beat in the eggs, vanilla, and any booze you're using until well incorporated -- another minute or so with an electric mixer on medium.
6) Sift or whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt), and then stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture until the dough is smooth -- it'll be a bit sticky.
7) Stir the chocolate chips and bacon bits into the dough.
8) Drop by the rounded teaspoonful onto ungreased cookie sheets, and flatten slightly with your fingers.
9) Bake for 8 to 10 minutes -- the cookies should be crisp around the edges but still soft in the middle. Allow to cool slightly on the sheet before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
The amount of bacon you're gonna wanna use will depend on the thickness of slices and how much you wanna freak people out. I'd recommend buying a thicker-cut, higher quality bacon (I like Wright's) so that the bacon flavor really comes through without these feeling like meatcookies.
If the dough is too wet/runny/sticky to easily get onto the baking sheet after step 6, you can add maybe a tablespoon of flour and/or cover the bowl and set it in the fridge for ~10 minutes. If you wanted to, you could leave the dough in the fridge for a couple hours and come back later for the baking part.
You should probably warn people a lot that there's bacon in them there cookies -- I made a sign involving cartoon bacon holding hands with cartoon chocolate.
Many thanks to Kathy from AllRecipes.com for the chocolate cookie recipe I started with, to muffin of NeverBashfulWithButter.com for bravely blazing the bacon cookie path before me, to Vosges for providing me with my original choco-bacony inspiration, to Mike, Geoff, and Joe for being born, and to all the nice people who didn't punch me in the gut when I offered them a cookie with meat in it.