Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Bacon is nature's perfect food.

Last week was DT's birthday, so as a present, I made dinner for him! Bacon wrapped asparagus and crispy garlic-ginger fried rice. The rice didn't turn out as well as I had hoped it would, but the asparagus was absolutely divine! But whatever does one do with all of that bacon grease after cooking? The plumbing at my place is shoddy as it is, so there was no way I was dumping any of that down the sink. I poured the fat into a jar and saved it until I could think of something appropriate to use it in.

A couple of days later, I remembered a fairly recent trip to the La Jolla Farmer's Market with CB and NV. A local bakery was handing out samples of gourmet cookies and I was pleasantly introduced to the "Morning Pancakes" cookie-- an innocent looking cookie that tasted just like a fresh stack of pancakes with bacon on the side. I was enthralled! And so, with the reemergence of this food memory, I decided to make cookies with my leftover bacon fat. Definitely crack the windows open for this recipe!

I apologize to my friends who have given up both meats and sweets for the Lenten period-- I promise to make another batch after Easter. :-)

Morning Pancakes Cookie
6 strips of cooked bacon -- crispy, but not cardboard-like in texture.
1/4 c BACON GREASE (oh Lord help us.)
1/2 c butter, softened
1/2 c white sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c maple syrup -- do yourself a favor and get yourself a bottle of the REAL stuff.
2 eggs
1 T vanilla extract
2 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 t baking powder
1 1/2 c chocolate chips (optional-- but why wouldn't you??)

1. Fry up the bacon. Honestly, every stove is different. Bacon is just one of those things that can go very wrong very quickly, so keep a good eye on it and don't try to multi-task while it's cooking (ie, talk on the phone, feed the cat, do the dishes... like me). When it's a nice, light crispiness, remove the bacon and let it drain on paper towels. Save the grease in a separate container and let it cool in the refrigerator. Chop your bacon into small bits and set aside to continue draining.

2. After the grease has cooled, add it to the butter and cream until they are nicely integrated together. Once that's done, beat in the eggs, sugars, maple syrup, and vanilla.

3. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Slowly mix in the not-quite-liquid mixture and work it until well-combined. Fold in the bacon bits and chocolate chips and distribute evenly. Let the dough cool in the refrigerator for a while. These cookies bake best if the dough has been thoroughly chilled, otherwise you'll end up with a very flat cookie. 

4. Once the dough is ready, preheat your oven to 350°. The nice thing about this dough is that there is no need to grease your cookie sheet beforehand (myself, I like to use tin foil just to reduce cleanup). Yay for self-greasing cookies! 

5. Drop the dough onto the sheet with a tablespoon and space them approximately an inch apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. After baking, remove from the oven and allow to cool before serving.

Close your eyes. It's breakfast time!

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