After the great reception I got for the Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies, I started thinking about how maple bacon might affect the flavor. From there, it wasn’t a huge leap to get to maple cookies. While the cookies were quite tasty, the maple flavor didn’t have anything to contrast it. Without any sort of reference point, the maple in the maple cookies seemed a bit bland.
With bacon added, there’s a delightful play between the sweet and salty, the textural difference between the cookie and the bacon. Plus, since Wisconsin produces a significant amount of maple syrup (117,000 gallons last year [PDF source]), I’m happy to find any excuse to try more of our locally-made varieties.
Maple Bacon Maple Cookies
- 1 pound of maple bacon, diced
- 1 cup of dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon of maple syrup (Grade B preferably, but Grade A dark amber works fine as well)
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
- Fry up the bacon in a skillet. If you have cast iron, now would be a great time to break it out and work on the seasoning. When it’s cooked through, drain out the fat into a separate container. If there’s a little left in the skillet, that’s fine.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream 1/2 cup of the bacon fat and all of the sugar together until well integrated. If there’s extra bacon fat (and there should be), save that for another time by putting it into a container, letting it cool, and refrigerating it.
- Add the vanilla extract and egg and mix until well incorporated. Add the maple syrup and mix until well incorporated.
- In a separate bowl sift together the flour and baking soda. Slowly add the flour mixture to the fat/sugar mixture and mix until just incorporated. Fold in the bacon, and whatever else is left in the skillet. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for thirty minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Drop spoonfuls of the cookie, about 1 inch balls, onto cookies sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for a minute or two before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 3 dozen.