If pressed, I’d have to say that my all-time favorite quote comes from the fabulous and forthright Bette Davis: “There comes a time in every woman’s life when all that helps is a glass of champagne.” Ain’t that the truth?
Yesterday I had to revise that sentiment a tad to “there comes a time in every woman’s life when all that helps is a cookie.” Without going into too much sad detail, yesterday was spent unexpectedly experiencing the grief of teenagers, which is about the hardest thing one can do, next to actual grieving. This was not my tragedy and I don’t wish to make it so. Therefore, I shan’t go into detail as this is not the place, but still, it takes its toll.
I arrived home sapped of energy, with one day left to enjoy Joy the Baker before returning her to the library (though she’s on my Christmas list), and realized that I hadn’t made a single one of her tempting delights. A quick scan of my pantry led to these cookies, oddly without flour, but even more oddly, (Dad, if you’re reading this TURN AWAY NOW–I’m sorry I have failed you in my carnivorous ways) with bacon.
I guess, really, adding bacon to cookies is not so far from the whole “salted caramel/salted-anything-baked” trend of late. It adds a salty note without tasting overpoweringly of smoky meat (thank heavens! Who wants to taste meat in a cookie anyhow?). And, if you’re stressed like me, you just might add an extra 1/2 cup of sugar, purely by accident, and find out that the cookies will turn out just fine.
Which is how everything will eventually turn out in the end: just fine.
Peanut Butter and Bacon Cookies adapted from Joy the Baker.
Makes about 24 cookies.
As I was scanning this recipe, I was astonished to realize that there is no flour involved. I thought it a mistake and checked her website to be sure. Nope, no flour. Then I realized that I had accidentally added the whole cup and a half of the sugar to the dough instead of saving a 1/2 cup to roll the cookies in. You could do as Joy does, and save that half cup to coat the cookies. I didn’t since I figured they’d be sugary enough (and wondered frankly if they’d turn out at all). Thankfully, these are a satisfying sugar bomb of a pick-me-up, for sure, so one or two per person should suffice for a late-afternoon snack. Store them, please, in the refrigerator.
- 8 slices of bacon
- 1 cup natural peanut butter (Jif brand worked just fine)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 tsp. maple syrup
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- a pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts
- chocolate chips (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Place a rack in the upper third of the oven.
2. Remove any excessive fat from the bacon and place it on a foil covered cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until done. Drain on a paper towels and pat extra grease from the top with the paper towel. Once cool, chop into fine pieces.
3. In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and peanut butter 3 minutes with a hand mixer on medium.
4. Add the maple syrup, egg and nutmeg and mix for another 2 minutes or until fully incorporated.
5. Fold in the bacon and the peanuts.
6. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper and roll the dough into walnut-sized balls. If following Joy’s method, roll the balls in sugar before placing on the sheet. If you added all the sugar to the dough, just keep a small bit of sugar on the side to dip your fork in before making the hatch marks on the cookies.
7. Dip your fork in reserved sugar and press carefully on the balls until they are about an inch and a half thick. Use your hands to reassemble any overly crumbly cookies.
8. Add chocolate chips as desired to the top, which is really just gilding the lily. Or skip this step all together.
9. Bake at 350° for 10-13 minutes or until slightly brown. Cool for 5 minutes in pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
I simply can’t end this blog without telling you that I finally learned how to make a proper fried egg, courtesy of Luisa. Not only did this method work perfectly, but I swear the egg tasted better. Check it out!
Now I need to assemble Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread and my suitcase for we are headed north.