I’m not really one of those guys that believes that bacon makes everything better. I think it makes most things better, but not everything. In my humble opinion, the bacon craze that swept through the food blogger community over the last year or so was just a bit much. I’ll pass on the bacon-stuffed, bacon-wrapped, bacon bomb with crumbled bacon on top.
But, I couldn’t resist putting bacon in these cookies. The package was just sitting there in my fridge, practically screaming, “Nick! Put me in a cookie with dried fruit and oatmeal and maple syrup and eat me for breakfast!”
And so I did.
These guys are packed with flavor. The bacon adds a level obviously (a smokey, salty level), but the dried cherries and maple syrup really kick it up a notch. Pair this with the texture of an oatmeal cookie and I do believe that I’m onto something.
Yield: 12 large cookies
1/2 Cup light brown sugar
1/2 Cup butter, room temp
3 Tablespoons real maple syrup
3/4 Cup all-purpose flour
1/2 Teaspoon baking soda
1/4 Teaspoon salt
2 Cups rolled oats
1/2 Cup dried cherries (or dried fruit of your choice), roughly chopped
1/3 - 1/2 Cup crumbled bacon, very crispy (I used 1/2 Cup and mine were very bacony.)
1) Bake bacon on a rack in a 350 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes, flipping half way to ensure they are cooked evenly.
2) Let bacon cool completely. Then crumble it into bits.
3) Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, a few minutes.
4) Add the egg and maple syrup.
5) In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients except the oats: Flour, baking soda, and salt. Then slowly add those to your wet ingredients.
6) Continue to mix until you have dough that will resemble very soft peanut butter.
7) Fold in oats, bacon, and dried fruit (roughly chopped).
8) Drop the 2 tablespoons cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper leaving a few inches between each cookie.
9) Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
10) Transfer to 350 degree oven and cook for 10 – 12 minutes.
11) Cook on a baking sheet for a few minutes then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Makin’ the Bacon
For this recipe, or in general, crispy bacon is essential. Also, it’s really important to pull away as much grease as possible from the strips because the grease will really mess with your cookie consistency.
I almost always bake my bacon these days on a rack in a 350 degree oven. Put a sheet under it to catch all the grease unless you want your oven to catch fire.
Bake the strips for about 20-25 minutes and you might want to flip them half way through just to make sure they are cooking evenly. I had some thick bacon so you might need less time if you are using the thin stuff.
After they are done you should have these beautifully crispy strips which you can stack for visual appeal.
Or crumble it if you want to, say, put it in a cookie.
It’s very important to make sure that your bacon cools completely before you add it to your cookie recipe.
Making the dough
To actually make these cookies, you’ll need some other ingredients. You can use any dried fruit really. I went with dried cherries and they were awesome, but pricey. Feel free to substitute whatever you have on hand.
As with most cookie doughs, start by creaming your butter and sugar together. I like to cut my butter into chunks which makes it a bit easier to get started.
Once your butter and sugar are combined well, add the egg, and maple syrup (very breakfast!).
In a separate bowl combine your dry ingredients except the oats: Flour, baking soda, and salt. Then slowly add those to your wet ingredients.
Continue to mix that until you have a dough that will resemble very soft peanut butter.
Fold in your oats, bacon, and dried fruit (roughly chopped).
Now just drop the cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I kind of just eyeball my cookie size, but about 2 Tablespoons of dough per cookie is a good goal. Be sure to leave a few inches between cookies also.
The key to a chewy cookie here is to refrigerate them before you bake them. Just stick the baking sheets in the fridge for about 20 minutes and then transfer them straight to a 350 degree oven.
They’ll need to cook for 10-12 minutes. Remember that they’ll firm up a bit as they cool also.
When you take them out of the oven, let them cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes and then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.
You can definitely eat these right away, but I actually thought they were best cold – out of the fridge. And yes, because of the bacon action, I’d recommend storing them in the fridge.
These are pretty intense cookies. I used a lot of bacon in mine so feel free to tone it down if you try it. Also, I’ll be completely honest — the bacon wasn’t even my favorite part. I think the maple syrup and the dried fruit made the cookie.
But maybe bacon did make it better. Maybe there’s more to this bacon myth after all…