Okay, it’s official, December is here! It’s the Christmas season! Here’s the first of 12 cookies as promised. Last year I got to 10, then we had a bit of a power failure – 2 1/2 days (seemed like forever, boy are we spoiled – and very lucky, to be living in this city!) – just before Christmas and I didn’t get to finish off the 12. This year, I’m getting an earlier start. I found this on a site called Closet Cooking. I like this recipe. It has Maple Syrup and Bacon in it – no really, how can you lose. Okay, if you don’t like bacon or don’t eat it (poor thing), then substitute pecans or walnuts and it will also work.

Use good quality maple syrup as this is the only sweetener in the recipe – no sugar! That’s a whole new audience for cookies. They bake beautifully well and taste great. Best of all, they were done in under 30 minutes – start to finish. That alone is worth the price of admission into the 2014 12 COOKIES OF CHRISTMAS BLOG (in a booming announcer type of voice). This made about 24 small cookies. Make them small, then you are sure all your cookies will be tried – these were bite sized and perfect for my Christmas Cookie tray. Big cookies are great, but not for a cookie tray.  Don’t worry about shaping too much.  You don’t want to overwork your shortbread or you will have a tough cookie (there is no such thing but purists will agree, you don’t want to overwork your dough).  As always – enjoy!

4 strips bacon, cooked and drained on paper towels
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature – really important, otherwise, if out of the fridge, microwave in 10 second bursts, it should take 2 x 10 second bursts of power to get it soft, maybe another 5 seconds
1/4 cup maple syrup – use a good quality
1 1/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cook the bacon – I put the 4 slices together and cut them about 5mm or 1/8″ thick slices, threw it into a small non-stick pan and let it cook down until it was cooked and crumbly – then drained on paper towels
Pre-heat the oven to 350 – line a baking sheet with parchment paper
Beat the butter and maple syrup until incorporated, it will look like it has curdled – I suggest doing this by hand with a whisk as this isn’t very much butter and if it is at room temperature i.e. soft, it will be a simple task 
Then add in the flour, cornstarch and salt – mix, then add the bacon and work it around with your fingers – the consistency is like damp sand, but it should clump together when squeezed
Grab about 1 tbsp and squeeze it in your hand to bring it together, then shape it into a circle – about the size of a loonie but thicker.  I also rolled some into rounds just to see how it would look and to see the baking time. It was fine – no additional time required so make a variety – remember, don’t fuss about the shape or perfect roundness, this isn’t classic shortbread
Bake in a 350F oven until just lightly golden – about 12 minutes – don’t let them to get too dark – they will harden when out of the oven.

bacon cookie
Maple Bacon Shortbread 1

Maple Bacon Shortbread 2