It was time to get out of my Baking Rut. It was time to bake something that was both different and delicious. It was time to figure out how to make
MAPLE BACON COOKIES!!
I wasn’t sure the folks at church coffee hour would like these, but I decided to give it a try anyway. I put a little place card on the tray that read “Maple Bacon Cookies” so people would know to expect a salty/sweet cookie instead of a regular cookie. And despite my skepticism, the cookies were a hit! One guy even said we should make it The Official Cookie Of The Episcopal Church, because that way we could have them every Sunday. Ha!
So how did this recipe come together? I started by looking for a Maple Bacon Cookie recipe online, but the recipes all seemed too salty or just unbalanced. And the cookies in the pics accompanying the recipes looked very unappetizing. Shouldn’t a cookie look good as well as taste good? Yes! So it was necessary to do some experimenting. I looked at various maple cookie recipes (baconless), and finally found a Chewy Maple Cookie recipe that was an “almost but not quite”. But it had potential! I made several changes to it, and then added bacon, maple glaze, and maple sugar. Full recipe to follow.
- 1/4 C butter
- 1/4 C butter flavored Crisco
- 1 C packed light brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 C real maple syrup (grade B, for more robust flavor)
- 1/2 t. vanilla extract
- 1/4 t. maple extract
- 1 & 3/4 C all-purpose flour
- 2 t. baking powder
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1 & 1/4 C cooked bacon, chopped into small pieces (I used 1 pound of bacon)
- 1/4 C powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 T. heavy whipping cream
- 1 T. real maple syrup (grade B)
- 2 drops vanilla extract
- 2 drop maple extract
- Milk or water to create proper consistency for drizzling
- Maple sugar (granulated) for sprinkling (available at Whole Foods)
Notes: This dough is soft (and very sticky!), so to prevent really flat cookies, freeze the dough balls for at least 2 hours before baking. I froze them for 3 hours. Also, I recommend frying all the bacon the day before you make the dough. It’s a lot of bacon to fry! I made quicker work of it by using a microwave bacon plate like this one, and covered the bacon with a paper towel to prevent grease splatter in the microwave. This yielded crispy, evenly-cooked bacon in a lot less time than a skillet.
- In a mixing bowl, cream butter, shortening, and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg, vanilla, maple extract, and maple syrup.
- Add flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Stir in the bacon pieces by hand.
- Freeze the dough: Using a medium cookie scoop (1 5/8” diameter), drop dough balls – close together but not touching – onto a parchment lined tray, and place in freezer for 2 – 5 hours. Cover with foil to prevent dough from drying out.
- When you’re ready to bake, preheat oven to 375°F.
- While oven is preheating (or while cookies are baking), you can prepare the Maple Glaze by stirring together in a small bowl all ingredients listed under “Glaze” except for the maple sugar. Save that for sprinkling on top of the glaze!
- Place frozen doughballs about 2″ apart on parchment lined cookie sheet (I use – and swear by! – Airbake cookie sheets) and bake for 12-14 minutes, or until edges are slightly brown and centers still look a bit under-done.
- Remove cookies from oven and let cool on the cookie sheet for 3-4 minutes.
- Transfer to cooling rack by sliding parchment paper off of cookie sheet and onto rack.
- When cookies have cooled, drizzle each cookie with glaze and immediately sprinkle wet glaze with maple sugar. Allow glaze to set.
- Enjoy! Makes 25 cookies. I recommend letting them sit overnight before serving. The texture improves and the disparate salty & sweet flavors really come together.