Life-changing bourbon-bacon chocolate chip cookies
About the recipe
This is part of Southern Kitchen's 12 Days of Cookies and Cocktails series, which runs daily through Christmas Eve. Each day, we'll pair fun festive cocktails with classic cookie recipes.
This. This is about to change your life. Or at least it’s going to change your mind about the best chocolate chip cookies you’ve ever tasted. The saltiness of the bacon combined with the tannins of the chocolate create an umami flavor that’s unforgettable.
It’s important to use a total of 1 cup of fat in this recipe. The amount of fat rendered from the bacon will tell you how much butter you need to use.
For example, if you have 1/4 cup bacon fat, you’ll use 3/4 cup unsalted butter to equal 1 cup. Generally, 1 pound of bacon renders 1/3 cup fat, in which case you’d add 2/3 cup butter to equal 1 cup total fat. However, all bacon is not the same in terms of thickness, size, fat content or quality.
Reprinted with permission from The Bourbon Country Cookbook by David Danielson and Tim Laird, Agate Surrey, 2018.
Makes: 5 dozen
Hands on time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour and 50 minutes
1 pound thick-cut bacon
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 to 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (see note)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons bourbon
1 teaspoon vanilla
10 ounces dark chocolate chips
Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Place the bacon in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until crisp, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
Pour the bacon grease from the baking sheet into a glass measuring cup and place it in the refrigerator to solidify, about 30 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a cutting board, cut into small dice, and set it aside.
Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder.
Once the bacon fat is solidified, add just enough of the unsalted butter to make 1 cup. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, bacon fat and sugars. Beat on low speed until combined.
Add the eggs, bourbon and vanilla and beat on low speed until thoroughly mixed. With the machine still running on low speed, gradually add in the flour mixture until completely combined. Stir in the bacon and chocolate chips.
Drop rounded tablespoons of dough about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake until lightly browned, 9 to 11 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes before transferring the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough, reusing the parchment if desired. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week or in the freezer for up to 1 month.