My pal Alice~ what a gift! She is full of great ideas and has an eye for the tantalizingly unusual that may spin off into a great new invention. She posted a pic of some rendered bacon fat for sale at a local eatery, packaged in a cute little tin- and solicited ideas on how to use it. About 20 things immediately popped into my mind and one of them is a special recipe I’ve been wanting to share with you for awhile for Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies.
But before I put the recipe out there, let’s talk some history. I remember my Grandma Spaniol having a little jar of bacon fat under her sink. When I found out what it was, I was a bit grossed out. Why would somebody save the inedible leftovers from a frying pan?
… well, as I found out later- much later- in life, it’s because that rendered fat is liquid gold. To the extent that the aforementioned local eatery is selling the aforementioned bacon fat in a tin for $1 an ounce. So let me share with you how to harvest this goodness yourself.
BAKED BACON AND RENDERED BACON FAT
- Instead of frying your bacon on the stovetop, consider baking it in the oven. I put a cooling rack inside my jelly pan and lay the bacon in strips across the rack (not overlapping). I then put the bacon in a cold oven and turn the heat to 400. The bacon will be nice and crisp and perfectly flat in about 20-25 minutes.
- Once the bacon is cooked, remove the pan from the oven, and the cooling rack with the bacon on it from the jelly roll pan.
- Put a coffee filter over a glass jar (Make sure the glass jar is at room temperature or warmer) and pour the bacon fat from the jelly roll pan into the coffee filter. Be careful and don’t burn yourself. Allow the fat to drip into the jar while you go enjoy your nice, crisp, hot bacon with breakfast or lunch or dinner or your snack (or chill the bacon and crumble it for salad toppings or a nice seven layer salad.)
- Once the bacon fat has been filtered, you can throw away the coffee filter and store your bacon fat in the fridge (I don’t recommend storing it under the sink like my Grandma did- even though we’re all still alive to tell about it!)
~or, you can pay $1 an ounce for bacon fat. I know what I’m going to do!~
So here is the first recipe I ever developed by myself. I took a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe and experimented with different variations on a theme until I ended up with the smoky, nutty, rich, savory yet sweet version of Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies you find below. ENJOY!!!
|Jenny's Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies|| |
- ¼ Cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (1/2 stick)
- 2 ounces (1/4 Cup) Rendered bacon fat, chilled
- 1 ¼ Cup All Purpose Flour
- ½ Cup Packed light brown sugar
- ¼ Cup Vanilla Sugar (Sugar stored with dried vanilla beans)
- 1 Egg
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 Cup bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks (high cacao content- such as Guittard)
- ½ Cup finely chopped pecans, toasted (optional)
- French finishing salt
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- In a large bowl, beat butter and bacon fat at medium speed with a hand mixer until softened (about 30 seconds).
- Add ½ Cup flour, Sugars, Egg, Vanilla and Baking Soda, and beat only until combined (additional beating makes the finished cookie have a tougher texture). Beat in the rest of the flour.
- Fold in Chocolate Chips (and, if desired, pecans).
- Drop teaspoons of the dough onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet, 2” apart.
- Sprinkle with French finishing salt, and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned with a crisp crust.
- Cool on wire racks (and be careful, because until they cool, the cookies are very flexible!) Enjoy!