This Recipe Is Proof That Bacon Makes Everything Better

Photo: Courtesy of Kitchen Konfidence.
By Brandon Matzek 

Maple-bacon cookies start with a brown-sugar-sweetened dough spiked with pure maple syrup, vanilla extract, and maple extract. Tiny bits of maple-caramelized bacon are then folded in, providing a salty counter to the sweet dough. These cookies are like a warm blanket wrapped around you on a cool autumn evening. So, so comforting.

Although bacon desserts are fairly widespread nowadays, I still encounter people who raise a skeptical eyebrow at the idea. If you are one of those people, just think of these cookies as a plate of pancakes and bacon, but in cookie form. They are so damn tasty — and completely addictive.

Be sure to use good-quality maple syrup here (not maple-flavored syrup). Maple extract can be found at any regular grocery store. Finally, this dough requires a one-hour chill, so plan accordingly.

Maple-Bacon Cookies
Serves About 3 Dozen 

Ingredients
7 slices of bacon
2 tbsp + 1/2 cup good-quality maple syrup (divided)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine-grain sea salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup lightly packed dark-brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 tsp maple extract

Instructions 
1. Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment and set wire rack on the lined baking sheet. Lightly spray the wire rack with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange bacon in a single layer on the wire rack. Brush 1 tablespoon of maple syrup evenly over the slices. Cook the bacon for 10 minutes in the oven, then flip the slices and brush the other side evenly with 1 tablespoon maple syrup. Continue to cook the bacon until it's crisp and dark in spots (about 10 to 15 minutes more). Let the bacon cool completely, then chop into small bits. 

2. Combine flour, baking soda, and sea salt in a medium bowl, whisking to combine. Set aside. Add butter and sugar to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy (2 to 3 minutes). You can also use a hand mixer here.

3. Add the egg, vanilla extract, and maple extract, mixing until incorporated. Add the maple syrup and mix until well incorporated. Add the dry ingredients (flour mixture) to the wet ingredients (butter-egg mixture) in three additions, beating at a lower speed until each addition is just incorporated. Fold in the reserved, chopped candied bacon.

4. Cover the cookie dough with plastic wrap, and let chill in the refrigerator for one hour. 

5. Preheat an oven to 350°F and place a rack in the center of the oven. Scoop one tablespoon of cookie dough and, using your hands, roll into a ball. Place balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet 2 inches apart. Bake for 10–12 minutes, until the cookies turn lightly golden around the edges. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.      
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