Bacon, bacon extract, maple syrup, maple sugar and chocolate – oh the foundation of good times is finally here! Praise and sing, chorus of angels – world peace will happen. I went crazy with this one so please feel free to omit or substitute ingredients if there is something in the title that doesn’t appeal to you – no really. This is 2017 Christmas Treat #4 – Chocolate Chip and Maple Syrup Glazed Chili Bacon Cookies.

First off, Maple Syrup – how Canadian and comforting can this be?! Maple Chili Bacon and Bacon extract (do I have to say fat?)!!! All I can say is make extra maple chili bacon pieces. I promise it will be your new favorite garnish for everything from salads to rice. So easy! Cut the bacon pieces up in ½ – 1 cm piece across the slices. This leaves you with thin slivers of bacon that crisp up as they sizzle in the pan. Don’t worry about separating these; they will come apart as they cook. Once crisped up, tilt the pan so the extract gathers to one end – remove and reserve this. Add the maple syrup to the pan and slosh the bacon around in it until the syrup dries – add chili flakes. Spread out on a plate and let dry. Use what you need for the cookies; store the rest in the fridge. When you want to use them, just microwave for 10 – 30 seconds to bring to room temperature, loosen with a fork and sprinkle as you desire on rice, pasta – oh yes – French vanilla ice cream – no really, just try it! I made one pound of bacon for this recipe but only used about ½ the cooked quantity. There’s none left and I made it yesterday.

For the cookie, I used demerara because I just bought some, but brown sugar – light or dark will also work. Demerara sugar has a nice caramel flavor and the grain is thicker. But as I say, either will work. I did make these cookies small and got about 70, but if you like them bigger, you will get about 45 – 50. I know I said no more savory but the sweet/savory balance is so good! Make these and more importantly make more maple bacon pieces than you need – they won’t last! As always – enjoy!

1 package President’s Choice Ghost Pepper bacon, sliced thinly crosswise
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp chili flakes (optional)

1 cup Churn 84 European Style Butter unsalted
2 tbsp. bacon extract
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup demerara – you could also use light or dark brown sugar
1 large egg and 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
½ cup crumbled bacon
Flaky maple sugar – specialty item available in health food sections and large box stores like Costco
Flaky sea salt like Maldon

Preheat the oven to 350f
Like a couple of rimless baking sheets with parchment paper
Cook up the bacon by slicing cross wise and cooking over medium heat – this takes about 10 minutes so please be patient
When cooked, remove the extract to a small bowl – reserve the extract
Add the maple syrup to the bacon in the pan and stir until the maple syrup is almost gone – spread out on a plate or board to dry
While the maple bacon cools, make the batter
Using your stand mixer or a hand-held, beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes
Add the egg and beat until well blended – about 1 minute
Add the vanilla and bacon extract and beat for 30 seconds more
Stir in the flour and baking soda with a wooden spoon
Add the maple bacon pieces and chocolate chips and stir to combine
Scoop teaspoons of dough onto the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with the maple sugar and sea salt flakes
Bake until golden around the edges, 9 to 10 minutes
Let the cookies cool for about 1 minute, and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely – if they are too soft to move after about 1 minute, put them back in the oven for a further 1 – 2 minutes, remove from the oven, let cool slightly and then move them to a wire rack to cool completely
When completely cool, store in an airtight container in the fridge with sheets of parchment in between the layers of cookies