Recipe courtesy of Sarah Holden

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

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As a Southerner, I know that you should never, ever waste rendered bacon fat. So naturally I had to try and incorporate that liquid gold into one of my favorite foods: chocolate chip cookies. Over time, this evolved into actually putting the bacon into the cookie as well, which adds some extra crunch alongside the chocolate chips. While bacon fat can cause cookies to get very thin and crispy, the addition of molasses, cornstarch and an egg yolk help ensure that these cookies stay soft and chewy long after they’ve come out of the oven.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 45 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 36 cookies
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Ingredients

Directions

  1. Lay the bacon flat in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, preferable one with handles, and transfer to a cold oven. Set the oven temperature to 425 degrees F and bake the bacon until crisp, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven.
  2. While the bacon cooks, whisk the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside. 
  3. Place the butter in a large heatproof bowl. Line a plate with paper towels and set a fine-mesh sieve over a heatproof liquid measuring cup. 
  4. Once the bacon is crisp, immediately transfer it to the prepared plate. Carefully tilt the baking dish and scoop or pour the hot bacon fat through the strainer into the measuring cup.    
  5. Pour 1/4 cup of the hot fat over the butter; save any additional fat for another use and discard the solids in the strainer. (If you don’t have enough bacon fat to yield 1/4 cup then make up the difference with melted butter.) Let the fat and butter sit for 1 minute, to slightly melt the cubed butter.  
  6. Cream the bacon fat and butter together with a handheld electric mixer on medium speed until slightly aerated (the mixture should still be quite loose and resemble the consistency of mayonnaise), about 1 minute. Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar and molasses. Mix on medium speed until lightened in color, about 2 minutes. Add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla, mixing on low speed until incorporated, 30 seconds to 1 minute.  
  7. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the dry ingredients. Mix on low speed until the dough is about three-quarters of the way mixed, about 1 minute. The dough will still be chunky with streaks of flour.  
  8. Roughly chop 6 slices of the bacon to yield 1/2 cup. Add the chopped bacon and chocolate chips to the dough. Fold in with a rubber spatula, incorporating the streaks of flour and evenly distributing the bacon and chocolate chips. Refrigerate the dough 30 minutes to 4 hours.  
  9. While the dough chills, chop the remaining 3 slices of bacon into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces.  
  10. When ready to bake the cookies, position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.  
  11. Scoop half of the dough into scant 2-tablespoon balls and place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake on the upper and lower oven racks for 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and press 1 piece of the remaining bacon into the top of each cookie. Rotate the baking sheets and bake until the cookies are light golden and just set around the edges, 5 to 7 minutes more.  
  12. Let cool 10 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack. You can let them cool completely but I recommend eating them warm!  
  13. Repeat the scooping, baking and cooling with the remaining cookie dough after the baking sheets have cooled completely. Or freeze the scooped dough to bake later (see Cook’s Note).

Cook’s Note

A #40 cookie scoop is the perfect size scooping for the cookie dough! You can freeze the scooped dough and just bake a few cookies later when you want them. Add 2 to 3 minutes to the baking time.

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