Every year I add a new cookie recipe or two to my rotation of holiday treats. This year one of them was the Maple-Bacon Ginger Cookies found in the latest Bon Appétit Magazine. I figured they would make a great counterpart to the dozens of sweet confections already crafted.
Savory bacon and sweet maple syrup give a modern twist to classic ginger cookies. Just like the classics, these are crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. We were salivating at the thought, and while they were in the oven baking, I was already planning on making another batch.
Well, there was no question we’d have to make another batch because the first set came out of the oven as one large flat mass. After a quizzical look with raised eyebrow cocked, Russ commented that it looked as though there was not enough flour in them. Oops, my bad. I looked at the written list of ingredients and quickly realized I had only incorporated 1 1/2 cups of flour, NOT the 2 1/3 listed.
Fiasco number one.
Maple-Bacon Ginger Cookies Take 2. We salvaged a few of the crunchier pieces for tasting purposes and to perhaps use as a topping for ice cream? We could toss the remainder outdoors to wildlife, but I’m pretty sure that is definitely not a good idea. All thoughts of what to do with the failed mess aside, we teamed up and started on a fresh batch.
Russ’ mission was to fry more bacon while I captained the mix master. No sooner had I started (very carefully) measuring the ingredients, when I heard Hubby swear under his breath. When questioned what was the matter, he replied he had just burnt half of the bacon. Knowing it is NOT a flavor profile that most folks associate with a “good cookie” he tossed the inedible strips and began—yet again. As two pretty accomplished chefs, it was just not our day…
Above, the bacon that didn’t burn…
We used a mini processor to crumble the cooked bacon, then microwaved the remaining portion to use as a topping.
In my defense, I had gotten up at 4 a.m. the day before (not by choice, just never fell asleep, an annoying curse of mine) and starting making cookies and continued into the evening. Then woke up the next day (several hours later, thank you) and began again. When I finished icing the decorated sugar cookies (recipe link below), I thought why not quickly bake the ginger cookies…
Back to the amount of flour. The recipe indicated 2 1/3 cups or 11 ounces. Russ said it is always best to weigh your flour as opposed to using measuring cups. Well, if that’s the case, 11 ounces actually measured out to be 2 1/2 cups, not 2 1/3, so I made that notation in the recipe below.
If you want the bacon garnish to be extra crisp, you can either fry the already-cooked and minced bacon in a skillet for another minute before patting dry with paper towels and using; OR heat in a microwave on paper towel for 1 minute like we did. It is a bit dicey trying to get the bacon bits and sea salt to stick to the maple drizzle. You might have to coax some of it onto the frosting with a utensil.
After all that was it worth it? Thank goodness I can truthfully answer yes. Unfortunately, though I adore the smell of, and love the taste of bacon, it doesn’t love me back, so I eat it with caution, if at all. Plus I’m not a big dessert/sweet eater, but I “forced” myself to sample one so I could write this blog 😉
Maple-Bacon Ginger Cookies
- 6 oz. (12 Tbs. or 1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup; more as needed
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 2 Tbs. grated fresh ginger
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 large egg
- 11 oz. (2-1/3 to 2-1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
- 8 oz. bacon, cooked and finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
- 4 oz. confectioners’ sugar (about 1 cup), sifted
- Flaky sea salt
- Position two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, and heat the oven to 350°F.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using a hand-held mixer and a large bowl), add the butter, sugar, 1/4 cup of the maple syrup, the molasses, fresh and ground gingers, vanilla, baking soda, and salt. Beat on medium speed, scraping down the bowl as needed, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Add the egg, and mix on low speed until just combined, scraping down the bowl as needed.
- Add the flour and 1/2 cup of the chopped bacon, and mix on low speed, scraping down the bowl as needed, until just combined.
- Portion large golf-ball-size pieces, about 2 Tbs. each, onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them about 1 1/2 inches apart.
After being spooked by the first fiasco, I spaced my cookies further apart, only placing 9 portions per sheet.
- Bake until the edges are set but the centers are still slightly soft, 13 to 15 minutes.
- Transfer the pans to wire racks, and let cool for about 30 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the confectioners’ sugar with the remaining ¼ cup maple syrup. Test the icing for a good drizzling consistency, and add more maple syrup 1/2 Tbs. at a time to thin, if necessary.
Just starting to whisk together the icing; make sure it is very well blended with no lumps. I used the whisk to drizzle it over the cookies.
- Gently loosen the cookies from the parchment, and drizzle on the glaze. Top each with a sprinkling of the remaining 1/4 cup chopped bacon and a pinch of the sea salt. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Some of the other cookies I made are featured below with a link to their respective recipes. Just scroll down far enough in the blogs to find the recipes.