Recipe: Bacon and Browned Butter Cookies

MF Bacon & Brown Butter Cookie
Yep, you read it right—these are bacon cookies. And? They are amazing. I was inspired to make them after being pleasantly surprised with some bacon ice cream I tried over the summer. It seemed like a silly novelty, but in actuality it was really good. I knew that if ice cream could feature bacon, then a cookie could too!

You can adjust the amount of bacon you feature in the recipe if you want more or less. As written in this recipe, the bacon flavor is subtle, only coming through at the end. The browned butter frosting is absolutely to die for. If you love bacon and butter, you’ll love these. If you are suspicious, give them a try. I have a feeling they’ll pleasantly surprise you.

Bacon and Browned Butter Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/3 cups flour
1/3 cup bacon, cooked and finely minced (about four large strips)
1/2 cup sugar (for rolling)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using your preferred method, cook bacon until crisp and browned. Pat dry with a paper towel to remove excess grease, then mince and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, blend the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add salt, egg yolks, and vanilla and mix until creamy. Stir in baking soda and flour until dough is well formed. Add in bacon bits and stir until well distributed. Chill dough for at least one hour. Roll rounded tablespoons of dough into sugar and place on a prepared cookie sheet. Using the flat bottom of a glass, press the top of each ball to create a disk. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the tops of the cookies begin to crack. Be careful to not overcook. Remove from sheet and cool before frosting.

Browned Butter Frosting

1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream

Directions
In a small skillet over medium-low heat, brown the butter until golden brown flecks begin to appear, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool a bit. In a mixing bowl, combine vanilla, powdered sugar, and cream. Mix in browned butter and blend until stiff and creamy. Pipe onto cooled cookies and serve.

HINT: If you don’t have fresh bacon on hand, the bacon salad topping in your refrigerator will work too! Just be sure it’s real bacon. You don’t want the imitation stuff.

Recipe: Brownie Pillow Cookies

Pillow Cookies

Your eyes are not deceiving you. That’s a big chunk of brownie in the middle of that cookie. I recently read this recipe posted by the one and only Bakerella and HAD to try it immediately. I mean, cookies and brownies in one? You had me at hello, Bakerella. You had me at hello.

The cookies are decadent and huge and perfect for the fickle treat lover who can’t make up her mind if she loves cookies or brownies best. (Cookies! No, brownies! No, cookies!) Here is Bakerella’s recipe, plus a few of my tips. Try this today and make your life complete.

Brownie Pillow Cookies

1 package brownie mix

1 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
12 oz. bag miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips

Make brownies according to package and let cool. Cut about ten 1 inch squares. Enjoy the remaining brownies. I used a pan about 8 X 8.

For the chocolate chip cookie dough, beat butter with a mixer until creamy. Add brown sugar and beat until smooth. Add eggs, yolk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Combine flour, baking powder, soda and salt in a medium bowl and stir together with a wire whisk. Add flour to butter mixture and beat until combined. Stir in mini chips. Let dough chill covered in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Use a measuring cup to scoop batter by the 1/2 cup. Since it’s chilled, you may need to pack it with a spoon. Then use the spoon to remove the dough from the cup and place it on parchment paper. Work quickly so the dough remains chilled or either prepare one cookie at a time so the rest of the dough remains cold.

After the dough is on the parchment paper, make an indention and place a 1 inch square brownie in the center. Press the brownie down gently and work the remaining dough around the brownie. You can use your hands to shape the dough into a ball.

During this step, I found it easier to use a piece of parchment paper as a work surface since the dough can get sticky and then I used another piece of parchment paper for the baking sheet. If your dough gets too soft, you can chill the rolled dough balls for a few minutes right before baking.

Prepare six cookies at a time using a large baking sheet (15 X 20) and bake at 350 degrees for about 18 minutes. Return the remaining dough to the refrigerator until time to bake the second batch. Cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes and then cool completely on a wire rack. Makes about ten cookies using a little less than a 1/2 cup of dough for each cookie. If your cookies start to get too brown before they are done baking, you can place a sheet of aluminum foil over top for the last few minutes.

Mrs. Fields Tips: Slightly undercook your brownies; they will continue baking inside the cookie. If you don’t have mini chocolate chips on hand (as I didn’t), simply chop up regular ones into smaller pieces. And finally, immediately give at least half of these cookies away. You won’t be able to trust yourself alone with more than a few of them. They will overpower you.

Recipe: Tropical Chip Cookies

Are you sitting down? It might be a good idea. These cookies are capable of rendering you weak in the knees and drool-y in the mouth. Inspired by the delightful tastes of island life–coconut, mango, and macadamia–each bite is a decadent escape from reality. If you’re in the mood for a tropical vacation (and who isn’t?), there’s no need to book airfare or hotel, just head to your kitchen. Try them today, but be sure to leave a vacation message on your email. You’re likely to be unavailable for a while.

Tropical Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cups flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon coconut flavoring
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons half-and-half
1 cup chopped dried mango
1 1/2 cups toasted coconut (find recipe here)
1/2 cup macadamia nuts
1-2 cups white chocolate chips

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking soda, and salt together and set aside. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Using an electric mixer, blend sugars together and add melted butter. Mix on low speed until a smooth paste forms. In a small bowl, beat eggs together. Add coconut flavoring and vanilla and beat again. Add half-and-half to egg mixture and beat again. Add egg mixture into sugar/butter mixture and mix until smooth and creamy. Slowly add flour mixture, followed by the mangoes, toasted coconut, nuts, and white chocolate chips. Chill dough for 15-20 minutes. Scoop heaping tablespoons onto a prepared cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until deep, golden brown around the edges. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and enjoy!

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