Over the years I’ve made a lot of cookies, especially at Christmas time! These cookies though are so amazing that if I make these as part of a Christmas cookie platter the other flavors get completely ignored. I always get asked for the recipe and in the last year or so have started making these almost exclusively in the holidays (apart from the obligatory sugar cookies for class parties etc.). The recipe is from Martha’s cookie app and I stick pretty closely to it. I have learned some tips and tricks along the way however so I will share those with you. Start by weighing out your flour (while it’s completely true that I’m a little OCD this really ensures the cookies come out well AND saves time once you know that 1 cup of all purpose flour weighs 4 1/4 oz. I love joyofbaking.com because she converts everything to grams for you. You can just pour the ingredients into your mixing bowl over the scale and not measure anything. LOVE that!
Sift or whisk the dry ingredients together
Cream the butter and sugar and pour in reserved bacon fat (YES, you read that right and NO, these are not low cholesterol…) and eggs one at a time
We love to cook bacon on the panini press by the way. The grease goes right into the trap and you don’t have to flip it. Thick bacon takes about 7-8 minutes on high.
This recipe uses sorghum syrup which is unsulfored molasses. I’ve found it at Whole Foods. In a pinch you can use molasses but the flavor isn’t as rich.
Don’t over mix, you want the bacon to be in pieces, not pulverized.
I use a large cookie scoop to form round balls of dough.
Roll them in your hands to form a circle.
Coat them in raw sugar
And line them up on a cookie sheet. At this point you can place the cookie sheet in the freezer until they are frozen and then keep them frozen in ziploc bags for baking later (a good thing for the holidays, make all your cookie mess at once and bake when you want).
Once you’re ready to bake preheat the oven and flatten the rounds onto a baking mat
Sprinkle with smoked salt (our favorite is this bourbon smoked sea salt from Williams Sonoma)
Package and distribute to anyone you want to bless (and be prepared to continue blessing them for years to come because these cookies will be demanded annually!).
Smokey Bacon-Ginger Cookies
Makes approx 3 dozen
6 slices of good, thick-cut smoked bacon plus reserved fat
2 1/2 c. flour (10.35 oz)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons, plus 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup sorghum syrup (spray the measuring cup with cooking spray for easy pouring)
1/2 c. raw sugar for rolling
smoked sea salt for sprinkling
Cook bacon in a pan or panini press, until it’s crisp and has released it’s fat entirely. Reserve the bacon fat (you want about 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons) and set aside the crisp bacon (about ¾ cup) on a paper towel. Let the bacon and fat cool.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with a baking mat.
Sift the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the butter and brown sugar and white sugar until they become fluffy together, about 3 minutes. Add the bacon fat and mix well, about 1 minute. Add the egg and mix until well blended. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour in the sorghum syrup and mix. On slow speed, slowly pour in the dry ingredients, mixing until just blended. Gently mix in the bacon bits.
Scoop 1 T of dough out and roll into a 1-inch ball, then roll in the raw sugar to coat entirely. Put the balls of dough 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Flatten the balls of dough with the palm of your hand, then top with a pinch of the smoked sea salt. Slide the sheet tray into the oven and bake until the edges of each cookie is starting to crisp, the tops start to crack, but the center is still soft, about 8 minutes. (Turn the baking sheet halfway through.) Do not be tempted to over-cook these. I would stick to 8 minutes at least for your first batch. These cookies do well when they are chewy in the middle.
Allow the cookies to cool completely on a rack, about 15 minutes.