I know, it’s been a while since my last posting. Been super busy – always a good thing! But here’s a recipe for an unusual but highly flavorful cookie. I love trying these recipes as they always seem to hit the sweet/savory balance I sometimes like in a cookie. I came across this recipe from the New York Times web site – originally called Bacon Fat Gingersnaps, I couldn’t resist trying them, but was a bit put off by the name, so I changed it to Bacon Extract Gingersnaps – much nicer! My son and daughter were making those Habanero Bacon Cheese bites for Christmas (I made these last year – http://www.foodinspires.com/2014/12/22/christmas-cookie-12-spicy-bacon-and-cheddar-crackers-cheeselets/) and I thought, what better way to use the bacon extract then with these cookies.

The bacon extract flavor definitely comes through. It is a rich cookie and one you don’t want to eat a lot of, but it is one you want to have in your back pocket for the holiday season – any celebration really! Ginger is the star of this cookie with the bacon extract playing a strong supporting role, so if you have an old container of ginger powder in your cupboard, it’s time to pick up a new container (and remember, it’s only a bargain if you are going to use all of it, otherwise, buy small amounts). You could also try a combination of fresh and powdered ginger, maybe even some sugared ginger (mmmmm – next time!).

I will tell you that there are some changes I would make to this cookie the next time. I would use the bacon instead of the extract (fat) for a better bacon taste. If you want to try it with the extract, one 375g package of bacon makes about ¾ cup of extract with all those delicious bacon bits left over for other things. If you are leaving the extract out, substitute an equal amount of oil for the bacon extract. All said, a delicious tasting cookie. I got about 60 cookies from this batch. I plan on having a lot of sweets on my Christmas dessert table so I try and make things small as I really do want you to try a lot of different things. There is plenty, but they are all one or two bite treats. The dough balls I made fit easily into a ½ tablespoon measure (as pictured below). Do give these a try! As always – enjoy!

¾ cup/150 g rendered bacon fat (from cooking 375 g of bacon i.e. normal package)
1 cup/200 g white sugar, plus extra for rolling
¼ cup/85 g molasses or cane syrup
1 egg
2 cups/250 g all-­purpose flour
1 ½ tsps/8 g kosher salt
2 tsps/10 g baking soda
2 tsps/10 g ground ginger
½ tsp/3 g ground cloves
½ tsp/3 g cinnamon

In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine all ingredients and pulse until a smooth dough forms – this may take a few tries as the dough will get sticky and stick to parts of the processor
Wrap the dough in plastic and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to 1 week
When ready to make the cookies – heat the oven to 350 degrees and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside
Put a layer of granulated sugar into a shallow bowl
Use your hands to break off a 1 ­tablespoon lump of dough and roll into a ball between your palms and drop into the sugar, roll to coat and place on prepared pans – pictured below, I made my dough balls small enough that they would fit into a ½ tablespoon round measure yielding a 2” cookie
Repeat with remaining dough, placing dough balls 2 inches apart as they will spread as they cook
Bake until flat (mine didn’t come flat – as pictured) and dark brown, about 10 to 12 minutes – mine baked in 12 minutes but I checked at 10 and they needed an additional 2 minutes
Let cool on baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a rack to finish cooling
Store cookies in an airtight container

bacon ginger2a

bacon ginger1a