Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bacon for Christmas

This year I am experimenting for the holiday cookie exchange.

For your consideration, Bacon cookies and Bacon Fudge!

bacon chocolate chip cookies

chocolate chip cookies (Nestle Toll House Recipe)
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup salted butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
12 oz toll house semi-sweet chocolate morsels

candied bacon
1 pckg thick cut bacon (about 10 strips)
brown sugar for sprinkling

1. make the candied bacon: preheat the oven to 350 F. lay bacon on a parchment covered baking sheet so they are not overlapping. sprinkle about 2 tsp brown sugar evenly on each strip of bacon. bake for 12 minutes, remove from oven, flip bacon and drag it through the syrupy liquid that’s collected on the baking sheet. put the bacon back in the oven for another 12-15 minutes, until it is fully cooked and very dark (mahogany). remove the strips from the sheet and cool on a wire rack. after they have cooked, chop them or quickly food process into tiny pieces.

2. make the cookies: combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. beat butter, both sugars and vanilla in a large bowl. add eggs, one at a time, beating well. gradually beat in flour mixture. stir in morsels and bacon pieces.

3. spoon dough (about a Tbsp per cookie) onto an ungreased baking sheet and bake at 375 F for 9-11 minutes. i tend to go a little under 9 minutes so they come out just underdone. remove to cooling racks or eat immediately with a tall glass of cold milk.

Bacon Fudge

Makes 49 squares

12 strips maple-smoked bacon, with 2 strips reserved for garnish

1 2/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips

2/3 cup peanut butter chips

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon maple extract

Coat an 8-inch-square pan with cooking spray.

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon, turning several times, until browned and done, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Chop finely. Reserve 2 of the chopped slices for garnish.

Combine all ingredients except bacon in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir continuously until chips and butter are melted, and mixture is thick and smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in bacon.

Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle the reserved chopped bacon on top and lightly press with your fingertips. Cover with aluminum foil and chill in the refrigerator until firm, at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight.

Slice into 7 equal rows to create 49 squares. It's a good idea to use a ruler to ensure equal-sized pieces. Serve at about room temperature.

Recipes inspired by NPRs story on unusual holiday treats :)

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