Tag Archives: bacon

the great cookie off


Do I have your attention?

If you’re thinking what the hell is bacon doing in Katie’s great cookie off post, then you and I are not cut from the same cloth my friend.   In my world, bacon is always an honorary guest at any of my parties.

For anyone who knows me personally, you’ll know that I cook to decompress.  I’m also an accountant and it is now my busy season.  Let’s hear it for 9/30 year end businesses!  As a numbers girl, I would stereotypically throw myself into the zone of exact measurements and precise timing.  At the height of my busy season, my fellow auditors and I have decided to have a cookie off.  This time last year, we did a chili off and I managed to nab the win.  I’ll share that recipe once we’re in the heart of winter and I start craving warm, meaty chili.

This year, I decided to load an extra challenge on my plate, which was to bake gluten free.  One of our team members has celiac disease and can never enjoy any of my baked goods.  Boo urns.  I figured this was the perfect arena to showcase my potential science project.  Immediately, I was giving myself headaches about rice flour and xantham gum.  Enter, Joy the Baker.  Joy’s adapted recipe from The Gourmet Cookbook includes a simple flour free peanut butter cookie loaded up with bacon!  The bacon immediately grabbed my attention… as did the absence XANTHAM GUM!  Cue the hallelujah chorus.

This morning after my anticipatory trip to the gym, I immediately got my 6 slices of thick cut bacon into my skillet on medium heat until crispy.  Once done, I put them on a paper towel lined plate and waited until cool enough to handle before chopping.

In the meantime, I preheated my oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  I creamed together 1 cup of smooth peanut butter with 1 cup of half granulated sugar and half packed brown sugar in a large mixing bowl.  The brown sugar is so nice in this cookie because it gives a maple syrup like caramelization that pairs very nicely with the bacon.  After 2-3 minutes, I added 1 extra large egg and 1 tsp of baking soda.  Fold in bacon and roll the dough into walnut sized balls and place on parchment lined baking sheets.  Make criss crosses on the balls to flatten and in the oven they go.


Chop up your cooled bacon

The smush

10 minutes later, you’ll have golden brown, very tender cookies.  Allow to cool before you remove them from your baking sheet.  Eat one for quality control, then into my tupperware they went for tomorrow’s work day.

I also snuck in some salted chocolate chip cookies for the boy’s return tomorrow.  Will post about those and the results of the cookie off next time!

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

My twin sister Krissie and I have decided to turn a new leaf (pun intended) and go on a salad diet.  It sounds extreme, but it’s really not since we’re limiting it to weekday dinners.  It’s an initiative to incorporate more vegetables into our meals and eat less processed foods. Of course, we have to find some sort of loop hole… which is to find something ridiculously fatty to add to the salad to make it bearable. Last night’s lipid choice came in the form of bacon and lots of it.

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing
Adapted from Alton Brown – we cut the bacon down a bit and decided to saute the mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces baby spinach
  • 2 large eggs
  • 5 pieces thick-sliced bacon, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 large white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced

Directions
Wash the spinach, drain and pat dry thoroughly. Place into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Hard or soft boil your eggs. I like to hard boil my eggs. I’ve found the best practice for hard boiled eggs is to add eggs to a pot of water, which should cover the eggs by at least 1 inch. Bring to a rolling boil and immediately turn off the heat. Leave the eggs in the water for 10-12 minutes. Remove and run under cold water. Peel off the shell. Slice each egg into 6 wedges and set aside.

While the eggs are cooking, fry the bacon and remove to a paper towel to drain, reserving 3 tablespoons of the rendered fat for the salad dressing and 2 tablespoons to saute your mushrooms . Crumble the bacon and set aside.

Transfer the 3 tablespoons of fat to a small saucepan set over low heat and whisk in the red wine vinegar, sugar and Dijon mustard. Season with a small pinch each of kosher salt and black pepper.

Remove the remaining fat from the frying pan until you have approximately 2 tablespoons of fat to saute your mushrooms.  Add the mushrooms and saute until golden brown.

Add the mushrooms and the sliced onion to the spinach and toss. Add the dressing and bacon and toss to combine. Divide the spinach between 4 plates or bowls and evenly divide the egg among them. Season with pepper, as desired. Serve immediately.

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If you’re a fan of bacon, you will obviously be a fan of this salad.  It’s crisp, tangy, salty, porky.  It may have just been the salad of my dreams.  This isn’t helping my overall lose weight diet, but I’m taking baby steps toward healthy eating.  I can’t just go cold turkey on all unhealthy fats.  Please.

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