cookie week: bacon, is there anything it can’t do?

by kaitlin

this week, i’m sharing the cookie recipes that i’m taking with me, or will be taking with me, to various cookie exchanges in december. i figure if i’m swapping the goods, why not swap the details too?

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peanut butter cookies are good, though perhaps fleeting in a society that is increasingly nut-free. i like peanut butter. just not as much as my family. my mother ate peanut butter and lettuce sandwiches and sent me to school with them, to be chastised (albeit enjoyed). my uncle was known for peanut butter, jelly and ketchup sandwiches, while it was rumored that another family member ate it with lunch meat. i made a cake for my sister-in-law last year that was peanut butter, banana and chocolate. but prior to last month, i hadn’t much picked up the container of skippy in my adulthood.

so, these cookies were made on a whim. i started thinking about buckeyes, chocolate coated peanut butter balls, and then andrew & i had breakfast one sunday morning and i thought, “bacon!”, largely because that’s what we were eating, and what was causing the dog to salivate with delight. bacon and peanut butter.

the one recipe i found came from joy the baker. and it had bacon bits in it. bacon bits belong in salad, or perhaps on one of marysol’s lovely bacon date brioche. but, the thought of bacon in a cookie, i thought, may not sit well with those who would be on the receiving end of last week’s swap. i looked past the recipe because i was afraid that my cookie would be the kid in gym class, last to be picked. it’s okay though, because this cookie is the kind that is picked maybe not first, but second or third, and amazes people with its talents. it’s sweet. and salty. and a little bit smokey. i gave one to andrew and he nodded and took pause and said, “it’s good, but i can’t taste the bacon”, before immediately correcting himself. it’s an aftertaste and a delicious one at that.

peanut butter bacon cookies
makes 36

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup bacon fat (from about 8-10 strips of bacon)
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla

cream together butter, bacon fat, peanut butter and sugars.
beat in eggs.
in a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
stir into wet ingredients.
roll into 1-inch balls (about a tablespoon per cookie) and put on baking sheets lined with parchment.
flatten each ball with a fork, making a criss-cross pattern.
bake at 375F oven for about 10 minutes or until cookies begin to brown.
cool for 10 minutes before moving to rack.
store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

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