The vision came to me in the middle of the night…gingerbread and BACON! I’ve been intrigued by recipes for chocolate bacon cookies and last year I made Nigella Lawson’s delicious gingerbread bacon stuffing, so they seemed like a good combination. I decided that for the first cookie recipe of my Gingerbread Project, I would marry the two together in unholy matrimony.
Overall, the “gingerbread bacon cookie experiment” was a success, and seemed to go over well at the party they were brought to. However, the bacon flavour is not very prominent; the salty-sweet factor is what makes the cookie appealing. The same flavour could probably be produced with some sea salt sprinkled on top. Initially, I ground up 6 pieces of cooked bacon and added it to the batter, but I found the chewy bacon bits a little distracting, and might confuse someone who didn’t know what kind of cookie they were eating (my husband asked if the cookie had raisins). Bacon grease, however, really adds a nice moist, chewy texture to the cookie. I think that next time, I would forgo the bacon pieces altogether and just use the bacon grease, as the taste would most likely be similar without having to chew on the bits.
MAKES: 24 cookies
Allow 50 minutes to make (includes cooling time)
2 ½ cups flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon sea salt + ½ teaspoon
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup white sugar + 1 tablespoon
½ cup brown sugar
1 large egg
¼ cup organic molasses
2 tablespoons bacon grease from 5-6 slices of bacon
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Fry bacon in small frypan and reserve bacon grease. Feel free to snack on the bacon!
Sift together flour, ground ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and ¼ teaspoon sea salt. Set aside. Combine 1 tablespoon of white sugar and ½ teaspoon of sea salt. Mix well and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, ½ cup white sugar and the brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in the molasses, bacon grease and fresh ginger. Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the wet mixture. Shape dough into 1.5” size balls. Place balls of dough 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and flatten slightly with a fork. Sprinkle with sugar/sea salt mixture.
Bake for 8-10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.