I don't usually do this type of thing. You know, the 'ol, "have a recipe up that goes along with the theme of the holiday coming"...
Not that there is anything wrong with those types of posts. I just don't do it. It's not for me. I find it hard to keep up with the year's lovely holidays and keep myself in the lines of those types of themes. I'd rather organically bake and create recipes according to more of what's in season, what my husband or I am craving, or what my family and friends would like. Usually.
But then every once in a while a recipe like this bursts it's way into my brain. And it just so happens to involve Irish Whiskey. During the month of March. Right around St. Patty's Day. Call me cliché. I couldn't help it. I had a huge craving for bacon...and my bacon brain also told me to grab the Jameson while I was at it. So I obliged.
Let's dissect this recipe for a second: Applewood smoked bacon. Semi-sweet chocolate chunks. Jameson Irish Whiskey. Brown sugar. Sprinklings of sea salt. Do I have your attention yet? Good. Because they're all packed into these babies. And we're not skimping either.
Bacon? In a cookie? Believe me, I got that question, ooooooh about 4 or 5 times upon sharing with friends. Except for my husband...he was on board from the moment bacon and chocolate chi-- came out of my mouth. Anywho, my answer to the others was, "Yep. Totally. Try it before you diss it." Remember that word? "Diss"? Hahahaha. Oh man. Bacon begs to be paired with sweetness. It also begs to be accompanied by chocolate. And whiskey. Believe me, it whispered this truth into my ear. Oh, and rest assured bacon lovers- none of the bacon goes to waste in these cookies. We're replacing the butter with the drippings from the pan (gulp!) and using mega chunks of meat baked right in.
I mean really, how could you not?
Let's get to it already. Before St. Patty's Day is here and gone, and I've missed my chance to jump on board.
BACON CHIP COOKIES WITH IRISH WHISKEY
Makes about 30 cookies, using a 1 1/2" scoop
For printable recipe, click here.
- 1 (12 oz) package of bacon. I used Trader Joe's Applewood Smoked Bacon.
- 1/2 cup reserved bacon grease from cooking bacon in pan
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup vanilla sugar
- 1 large room temperature egg
- 1 tablespoon Jameson Irish Whiskey
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks
- sprinkling of sea salt for tops of cookies
1. Cook the entire package of bacon strips until crispy and cooked through. Remove strips from pan and allow to drain on paper towels or newspaper.
2. Pour off 1/2 cup bacon grease into a heat resistant measuring cup and set into refrigerator to cool and solidify- about 1 1/2 hours.
3. While the grease is cooling, chop up your bacon so that it is about chocolate chip sized chunks. Measure 1 heaping cup of bacon bits and set aside. For my 12 oz package, I used the entire thing for 1 heaping cup.
4. Once your bacon grease is solid, remove from fridge and allow to soften a bit on your kitchen counter, at room temperature. This took about 30 minutes for me. You want it to feel like butter you would have softened up to make cookies. Firm, but with some give.
5. Preheat oven to 350°F and line sheet pans with parchment or silpats. Set aside.
6. With your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together your softened solidified bacon grease, brown sugar and vanilla sugar. Beat until light and fluffy.
7. Next stop mixer, scrape down sides and bottom and add your egg. Mix together completely. Add your whiskey. Mix again and scrape down sides.
8. In a separate bowl, whisk together your flour and baking soda. With the mixer on low, add your flour mix to your sugar/grease. Beat until just combined.
9. Add bacon bits and chocolate chips/chunks and mix again until just combined.
10. Scoop dough with either a tablespoon or 1 1/2" ice cream scoop and place on your prepared sheet pans about 1 1/2" apart. Lightly sprinkle tops of cookies with sea salt. Set sheet pans into the fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
11. Finally, bake cookies in the center of your oven for 13-14 minutes or until puffy, golden brown, and crispy around the edges. If baking on parchment, watch your bottoms.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes on sheet pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Cookies will store at room temperature for up to 5 days, in an air-tight container. You can also make the dough ahead and freeze into balls. Simply remove, place directly on prepared sheet pans, and bake for a while longer at 350°F.
This is such a great way to use up everything when frying up bacon in the mornings. Just reserve your grease in the fridge until you've got 1/2 cup then bake some cookies up! Or, just grab a pack of bacon especially for this recipe, like I did :)
Sometimes the weirdest cravings create the most delicious things.