I can tell that your mouth is already watering from just reading the title of this post, but let me make it a bit worse. The recipe today is for:
Candied Bacon & Chocolate Chip Cookies drizzled with a Maple Fondant Icing and sprinkled with a sweet and salty Candied Bacon Topping.
What’s even better is that I managed to procure some genuine Berkshire Bacon (this is not required, but if you get it, awesome!), how tasty and exciting!! Now, to be honest, I didn’t come up for the idea of these cookies. Well, I thought I did, but a quick search on Google showed that a lady blogger named “Muffin” had come up with it awhile back. I was sad until I realized there were no copies of the recipe laying around (her site is down and no one re-posted the recipe)… this meant I could go ahead and flex my culinary imagination. Hooray! Check out a shot of the final product:
Oh yeah… that’s the stuff right there. Try not to drool too much on your keyboard while you stare. I won’t lie… this is a bit of a complicated recipe, but I think it is worth it. Also, I want to make the following note:
You can use your own chocolate chip cookie recipe for this if you don’t want to use the one I did. I actually tried a new one that I wasn’t quite happy with (I like chewy cookies and these were crunch), but it didn’t affect the taste (just the texture). I’m going to post it (along with what I think would make it better) here for those going for the same thing. I don’t blame the recipe, rather I blame the bacon a bit for it… you’ll find out why later on.
Okay then… the first thing we need to do for our cookies is to make some Candied Bacon (based on this recipe):
- Bacon (about 8 slices)
- Brown sugar (about 1/4 c… enough to coat the bacon)
- Preheat your oven to 400°F.
- Place the strips of bacon on an oven safe baking rack that has been lightly greased over a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil (for easy cleanup).
- Sprinkle 2-3 teaspoons of brown sugar evenly (or as best you can do) over each strip of bacon.
- Bake for 10-20 minutes. About halfway during baking, flip the bacon over and sprinkle another 1-2 teaspoons of brown sugar over them.
- Continue to bake until dark, but not burnt. Remove from oven and cool the strips.
- Once crisp and cool, chop into little pieces, about the size of grains of rice, and set aside.
That’s it for the bacon. Next we should work on making the fondant for the maple drizzle (recipe adapted Baking & Pastry: Mastering the Art and Craft).
- 10g Water
- 1/2 tsp Geletin (powdered)
- 30g Light Corn Syrup (not Lite… Light)
- 1 tsp Glycerin
- 170g Powdered Sugar (sifted)
- Mix water and gelatin and heat to around 90°F.
- Turn off the heat and mix in the corn syrup and glycerin.
- Add sugar and mix (using a spoon at first) until smooth, well combined, and not too sticky. You may end up having to use your hands to “kneed” it towards the end.
- Form into a log shape and lightly coat with shortening. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and set aside.
This isn’t the last we’ve seen of the fondant. This made “rolled” fondant. To turn it into our drizzle will take a double boiler and some more stuff. This’ll come later. Now, we’d best get started on our cookies. Now, I’ll mention it again in case you missed it:
You can use your own chocolate chip recipe here instead of this one if you’d like.
Alrighty… here we go! The recipe I’m using is based on one of Alton Brown’s many Chocolate Chip cookie recipes, which can be found in his book, I’m Just Here for More Food.
- 3/4 c Sugar
- 3/4 c Brown Sugar
- 15 1/2 Tbs Unsalted Butter (room temp, 1/2 Tbs shy of 2 sticks)*
- 2 Large Egg Yolks
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 1/4c All Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2c Chocolate Chips
- Candied Bacon (reserve 1 Tbs for later use)
*Note – The recipe called for 2 full sticks of butter, but when I added the bacon, the fat that it had came along with it and I figure that is why I had a more crumbly texture than normal (think what happens when you put too much shortening in a pie crust). I predict that it was about 1/2 Tbs worth and I think that subtracting the butter would remedy the situation. Not 100% sure, so if you want to be like me, just use the full 2 sticks.
- Place oven rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 375°F.
- Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- Mix together the sugar, brown sugar, butter, egg yolks and vanilla.
- Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and stir until just combined.
- Fold in Chocolate chips and Candied Bacon.
- Scoop out cookies (I used a small ice cream scoop) and place the balls of dough on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper. Keep the cookies at least 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 10 – 15 minutes (check them at 10, then ever couple minutes until golden and set, but not burnt).
- Let the cookies rest on the pan for 2 minutes, then move them to a baking rack to fully cool.
Okay, so now you have all your cookies done and sitting, waiting to be finished. We need to do two remaining things. First, make the topping. Second, make the fondant glaze. The reason the topping comes first is that when you glaze the cookies, you need to sprinkle the topping on fast, or else it won’t stick (the glaze dries in about 15 – 30 seconds).
- Reserved 1 Tbs Candied Bacon
- 1/2 tsp Coarse Sea Salt/Kosher Salt
- 1 Tbs Turbinado Sugar (or any large grain sugar)
- Dash of Cinnamon
- Mix all ingredients together. Taste and adjust sugar and salt until it pleases you.
- Set aside.
Okay, it is now time to make the glaze and finish up these beauties! Go and get your fondant out, it’s time to get all fancy up in here!
- 1/2 lb Rolled Fondant (what you made earlier)
- 1 1/2 oz Maple Syrup
- Dash of Cinnamon
- Place fondant in the top of a double boiler with water in the bottom (I used a Pyrex bowl over the top of a large sauce pan).
- Heat the fondant until it liquefies and reaches 105°F (don’t let it get hotter than that). Lower the heat so that it maintains that temp, but doesn’t get hotter.
- Mix in the Maple Syrup and cinnamon. When combined add water, 1 Tbs at a time, until sufficiently thinned (I used about 3 Tbs). Mix until smooth.
Alright… time for the final assembly! Get your cookies (now cooled) and put them on a plate. Bring them over to your fondant and with a spoon drizzle the topping over a few cookies. Sprinkle on some of your topping before the fondant dries. Repeat.
Is this insanely complicated? Yes. Is it awesome? Yes. I ended up testing out the results of my cookie experiment at home and the office and here are the results:
- 8/9 enjoyed the cookie (the one that disliked it said that it needed to be sweeter).
- 1/9 guessed that it contained bacon (I will admit, one other almost got it as she recognized the smokey and salty taste).
- Some other guesses as to what was in the cookie: “Toffee,” “Heath Bar,” “Peanut Brittle”
- 0/9 were upset when it was revealed that it contained bacon (I did verify that none were vegetarian before tasting).
- 9/9 thought that the cookie was very pretty (go fondant!).
Not bad results! So, please go attempt this and record any of your changes and what your conclusions were. The best experiments are the tastiest!!