It’s Bacon (Chocolate-Chip Cookies)!

December 14, 2009

Bacon Chocolate-Chip Cookie

While researching my latest Pacific Northwest magazine Taste column on Savory Desserts (that was published in yesterday’s Seattle Times), I received this very interesting cookie recipe from Heather Earnhardt, pastry chef at the Volunteer Park Café in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.

My article was running long (as usual!) and we weren’t able to print the recipe in the magazine, so I am very pleased it’s finding new life online here in my blog. Many thanks to Heather for sharing her recipe.

And my article was timely. . .a few weeks ago, NPR featured also featured an article on using bacon in desserts.

Bacon Chocolate-Chip Cookies

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

This creative cookie recipe comes courtesy of Heather Earnhardt, pastry chef at the Volunteer Park Café in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. It adds a savory element (bacon) to a traditional cookie dough with delicious results. At the Café, the cookie is whimsically called the Miss Piggy Chip and is the size of your hand!

1/2 pound dry-cured, thick-cut bacon

4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs, plus 1 egg white, room temperature

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 pound best-quality semisweet chocolate chips, such as Guittard

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat.

2. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, cook the bacon, turning once or twice, until crisp and lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels. When cool enough to handle, chop and set aside. (Alternatively, you can microwave the bacon until crisp or bake it in a 375°F oven for 12 to 15 minutes.)

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and soda.

4. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.

5. Add the eggs and egg white one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix thoroughly.

6. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour until thoroughly mixed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Gently mix in the chocolate chips, then the bacon.

7. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through cooking time, until the cookies spread slightly and turn light golden brown.

Cook’s Hint: Pastry chef Heather Earnhardt uses a two-ounce ice cream scoop (slightly larger than a golf ball) when making the cookies at home. At the café, she makes four-ounce balls to create larger cookies.

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