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Bacon and Chocolate Chip Cookies

16 Mar

Bacon is the one thing that stops me from becoming a vegetarian. Bacon and sausages. But mostly bacon. That salty, crispy, soft-yet-crunchy bite of bacon is second to nothing in terms of gastronomical joy. As I typed that last sentence, my stomach literally groaned with delight.

And bacon has rightfully earned its place in popular culture. From bacon-flavoured gum, to bacon band-aids and even a (gross) bacon bra; it also crops up on popular sitcoms, including The Office US. In the words of boss Michael Scott:

“I enjoy waking up to the smell of bacon – Sue me… It’s delicious, it’s good for me, it’s a great way to start the day.”

Of course, bacon is the meaty catalyst for Michael  burning his foot in a George Foreman grill – thus providing a sombre counterpoint to this blog’s otherwise wanton specklust.

Never fear, however, for the following recipe allows meat-lovers to get 1 of their 5-rashers-a-day without the threat of second-degree burns… by baking it into a cookie. Not since the Chocolate Zucchini Love Cake has Pete been so surprised at what I’ve put in a sweet treat.

This recipe is adapted from The Noble Pig.

Smoked bacon is gospel in this house. (We choose it for the flavour, and the clean fresh taste):

Back when smoking was cool.

Surprising realisation: There was a time when Kirk Douglas wasn’t a really really old man. (Smoking kills eh?)

Fry the bacon until it’s well-cooked. I didn’t use any oil, as I didn’t want it to be too greasy.

The recipe actually called for maple-smoked bacon. Pah! I couldn’t be bothered to go searching (or spending), so I improvised. You’ll notice the tin of golden syrup above…

Feeling experimental, I just drizzled some on top of the bacon and let it do its magic. It actually worked surprisingly well.

Creaming together the butter and sugars.

A cornucopia of goodness.

I didn’t have any chocolate chips either (doh!), so I chopped up a bar of dark chocolate into approximate chip-size.

The golden syrup has caramelised on parts of the bacon, which is nice. All it needs is to be chopped up into little pieces.

Mix the chips with the butter/egg mixture.

Then blob spoonfuls of the mixture onto a baking tray covered with greaseproof paper.

Push some extra chocolate and bacon into the top.

Bake ’em, and voila!

Flat, slightly textured cookies. Full of flavaar!

VERDICT:

Taste:

Good. The saltiness of the bacon is balanced out by the sweet chocolate chips. The bacon bits are nicely chewy, while the chocolate melts in your mouth. The texture of the cookie itself is also good. You could adapt the basic recipe and add other types of chocolate, nuts, or possibly even fruit instead of bacon.

Recipe Pros:

Easy peasy – even after I made my adjustments, it still worked excellently.

Recipe cons:

Even after halving the original recipe, there was still a lot of batter. So much so, that it was difficult to find enough space on a baking tray to cook it all. Still, I think that’s what’s known as a First World Problem.

While searching for bacon online, I came across this news story. Now this is why I got into journalism:

Chocolate Crackle Cookies

28 Feb

Martha Stewart eh? America’s original domestic goddess. Like a sunnier, less boozy version of our very own Delia Smith. Oh she’s had her struggles alright – that stint in prison after lying about a stock sale for example – but she’s since bounced back better than ever, with new TV shows, books, a cameo appearance on Ugly Betty, and (if Wikipedia is to be believed) a range of prefab houses bearing her name.

But the best thing about Martha Stewart? The broad’s got banging hair. Now this will definitely out me as terminally uncool, but I really covert M-Stew’s ‘do. So shiny, so flippy. Love. It.

Maybe she's born with it?

The second best thing about The Marthster? These chocolate crackle cookies [click the link for the recipe]. They look so cute and contain lottsa chocolate. This is known as a Win Win situation.

First things first: Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.

Sweaty Room temperature butter. Good grief, did I really use this much?

Of course I did! Can’t get enough of this wonderful stuff!

Butter and sugar ready to be beaten. But woe, the butter seems to be too hard.

The electric mixer is less than useless, so I resort to ye olde fashioned method (aka using a fork). I am surprisingly proficient.

Add melted chocolate. (Here’s the chocolate I melted earlier.)

Blend until delicious. Try to refrain from licking the beaters.

The mixture should be smooth and velvety. The chocolate equivalent of this rabbit:

N.B. This rabbit is velveteen, which is basically a cheap version of velvet. Like pleather, or suedette. Therefore you should actually aim for your chocolate mixture to be an upmarket version of this rabbit.


Separate the mixture into four parts and wrap each one in clingfilm.

“That’s not clingfilm!” rants Pete.

Apparently it’s a generic clingfilm substitute that doesn’t cling properly. However, it’s fine for this purpose.

Yes, I’m well aware of what it looks like. But it smells delish.

Chocolate parcels. Ready for the fridge. Chill for two hours.

And after two hours, it has chilled to a hard mass. Remove “clingfilm”.

Cut the mass into smaller bite-sized pieces and roll them into balls. Like so. Looks good enough to eat already. But here comes the fun part.

Roll it in granulated sugar.

Then roll it in icing sugar.

Stickios digitos.

So remember: That’s granulated sugar…

…Then icing sugar.

You may want to prepare a saucepan of water finger bowl to keep things civilised.

Grease (-proof paper) is the word.

Lay out the balls with plenty of space between – they need room to spread.

Think of hay bales in the summertime

(c) freefoto.com

After a short time in the oven, the balls will flatten out, hopefully leaving you with something like this…

In the interests of full-disclosure, I have to admit that not all of them quite worked out:

I have no idea why. Perhaps they were in a hotter part of the oven, or had too much/not enough sugar on them. They look gross, but still taste great!

VERDICT:

Taste:

Crispy on the outside, chewy in the middle – like a brownie. It’s impossible to eat just one.

Recipe cons:

It’s a bit annoying having to wait for them to chill for two hours. It also gets very messy.

Recipe pros:

It gets very messy. Trust Martha – filthy little minx. And on that note, let’s have Big-M play us out: