Peanut butter and bacon chocolate chip cookies

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You never know when inspiration will strike…

Over the weekend, two of my hubby’s long-time friends came to visit with us for dinner to ask us what we recommendation for things to see in Hawai’i.  They have been hanging out together and decided to take a vacation since they were still single and lived a bachelor’s life.  During our dinner conversation, the men were talking about good food to eat while on vacation, and bacon was a repeated theme throughout the conversation.

While I don’t prefer to eat bacon, I realized that my hubby’s friend seemed to enjoy bacon a lot.  We were invited to his birthday lunch and I was immediately inspired to make him an edible gift with bacon.  My husband suggested I make him peanut butter cookies, and it was then that I decided to incorporate bacon into my cookies!  It sounded good, peanut butter and bacon cookies.  But, then I remembered that I had some chocolate chips in the pantry that I’ve been meaning to bake with.  So, I decided to use both and that’s how I ended up with peanut butter and bacon chocolate chip cookies.

I wanted to keep the bacon crispy, so I pressed some bacon on top of the cookie dough right before baking.  This ensures that some of the bacon stays on the surface of each cookie, and creates a welcoming texture with every bite.  It was definitely a melody to the taste buds, with the sweetness from the chocolate and peanut butter, along with the saltiness of the bacon.  But the cookies were surprisingly delicious, and they were received with much appreciation and awe.

Peanut butter and bacon chocolate chip cookies

 Grocery list

1 1/4 all-purpose flour
1/4tsp baking soda
1/4tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4tsp salt
5 strips bacon
4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup roughly chopped honey roasted peanuts (optional)
1/3 cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350oF.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.

Cook the bacon in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat until crisp.  Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, and reserve 2 tbsp of the bacon drippings.  Crumble the bacon, discarding any chewy bits.

Beat the butter and reserved bacon drippings in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until smooth.  Beat in the peanut butter until just combined.  Beat in the granulated sugar and brown sugar until creamy, and then add the egg and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.

Reduce the mixer speed to low.  Add the flour mixture in 2 additions, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed, until just combined.  Stir in the peanuts (if using) and all but 2 tbsp each of the chocolate chips and bacon.

Form the dough into 12 balls (about 1 inch diameter) and arrange 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.  Flatten dough balls with your fingers to desired thickness (the cookies will not spread in the oven).  Press the reserved bacon and chocolate chips on top of each cookie dough.

Bake about 12 to 14 minutes or until golden.  Let the peanut butter and bacon chocolate chip cookies cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheets, and then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

     

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