Baconalia Review: Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies with Great Lakes Porter

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies with Great Lakes Porter

Bacon and chocolate chip cookies with a nice, rich porter. ..sounds like dessert to my face!  I’m currently in the midst of planning a bacon party that (at this point) will focus entirely on baked goods.  For whatever reason, I’m actually trying the recipes ahead of time this round.  Perhaps I am growing up and becoming more responsible or perhaps I just really like to bake and post cookies to friends.  Regardless of the present and the future, these cookies were the first cookies of my bacon cookie past.  These cookies predate my whole “Baconalia” concept and I got the recipe from a friend, rather than from the internet.  Seriously.   The first time I made these cookies I was completely unaware of the internet’s boundless infatuation with bacon.

Bacon chocolate chip cookies provide a gentle introduction into the world of bacon cookies.  Minus the bacon, they are only subtly different than the average chocolate chip cookie – a cookie most of us have known and loved since childhood.  (I blame the subtle difference on the addition of almond extract, which I personally find brilliant.)  The bacon is definitely present and its meaty bits expand the confines of one’s cookie comfort…county?  courtyard?  community?  commonwealth?  zone.   Eat these cookies and expand your cookie comfort zone.  It’ll be okay.  The meat bits are definitely present and add some heft to the cookies, but it isn’t overwhelming.  It’s still a chocolate chip cookie, just with a little extra protein.

I think one of the reasons why these cookies worked so well is because they are fairly subtle and their basis is something so familiar.  The original recipe includes a glaze, but I find that it tastes really fake and overly sweet.  (I blame the maple extract, even though I bought the fancy and natural one.  I also blame the two cups of powdered sugar.)  Besides, the cookies are delicious on their own; they don’t need a glaze.  As is my standard with chocolate chip cookies, I seldom add as many chips as the recipe calls for me to add.  I extended this restraint to the bacon as well.  When it comes down to it, I like my cookies to have some cookie in them, versus being the glue for chips and bits.  Particularly with the multiple flavors of this cookie, I think the reduction of mix-ins prevented them from overwhelming and also aided in identifying and appreciating each flavor.  When the flavors are cookie dough, chocolate, and bacon; each flavor deserves to be appreciated.

I paired these cookies with the Great Lakes Edmund Fitzgerald porter.  Would you like to know why?  Well, for a porter, it’s delicious.  (I am not the biggest porter fan, but I recently went to a porter class and suspect the problem might be the porters I tried versus me being the problem.)  This is a rich and dark porter, the coffee experience is a smooth and full one, with caramel and chocolate undertones.  It’s a little bit smoky, which is kind of an awesome complement to the smokiness of the bacon.  If a man smoking his pipe in a leather recliner were to drink a beer, this would be the one.

This is a nice pairing and would work well as a simple dessert.  My goal was for a more adult “milk and cookies” and a porter is about as close as beer gets to espresso.  This is a match worth making.

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies (originator unknown)

1 cup butter
2/3 c packed brown sugar
2/3 c granulated sugar
3/4 t almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 1/2 c flour (more for a cakier cookie)
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 c chocolate chips
1-1 1/2 c bacon bits (from REAL bacon – make your own!)

Beat together the butter, sugars, flavorings, and eggs until creamy. In another bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and stir together. Dough will be slightly soft. Add in chocolate chips and bacon bits. Stir until well integrated. Refrigerate dough for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 350F.  Remove dough from fridge, pinch off 1 1/2 inch pieces of dough and roll into balls. Set dough balls about 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake cookies for about 10 minutes, or until the dough starts to turn golden brown. Cool on rack.


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