The Storied and Ballyhooed Annual Berkeley Ward Men's Cookoff was held last Saturday. As is my habit I made something more peculiar than vote-friendly: Bacon-chip Chocolate-chip Cookies. (My recipe is adapted from Louisa's.)
Bacon-chip Chocolate-chip Cookies
2 1-pound bacon trays, one of which has about a quarter of each rasher cut off to feed people a week earlier
1½ cups brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
4 sticks softened butter (although mine wasn't in 'sticks' --- just a big block )
2 tablespoons vanilla plus a little more sloshed in because, let's face it, too little vanilla is the grossest of sins
4½ cups flour (one of which is obtained by going door-to-door till you find someone both home and gluten-tolerant)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 generous cups of chocolate chips
Fry the bacon in a hot skillet until you've probably actually cooked them too long. Say "crap". Repeat in batches until all the bacon is cooked.
Be sure to drain the bacon on whatever napkins you can scrounge. Remind yourself that paper towels are worth killing the environment over.
As simultaneously as possible, cream the butter and the sugars together on the KitchenAid's highest speed until your wife comes crashing into the kitchen demanding to know if you are insane. (As if there is any believable response to that question.) Allow her to tell you that a KitchenAid is no mere 'mixer' and that if Louisa meant a KitchenAid she would have said 'KitchenAid'. Don't bother trying to answer any questions that begin with, "What, are you...?" Then go back to mixing for a minimum of five minutes a couple notches lower on the speed scale. Scrape down the bowl as you think of it. Add the eggs and the vanilla and beat (at not-quite-high!) for another two minutes. Stir in the flour, baking soda, salt. Throw the bowl in the fridge. (Careful to miss the placenta.)
Now that the bacon's done and cool, use kitchen shears to cut the bacon into small small pieces, tossing out whatever fat is not so cooked that it cannot pass as meat.
Add the bacon chips and chocolate chips to the dough and stir it up.
Even though it might be against the rules, allow your wife to start the oven preheating. Tell her 375. She will then set it at 350. Assume she knows something about the oven you don't and leave it be.
Drop the dough in half-size balls onto the cookie sheets but don't use the Silpat because it's been cut and supposedly that means you'll shards of glass in your food.
Because you're running out of time, try to fit an extra row on the sheet.
Plan to bake for a little under twelve minutes and go work on drawing yourself and a pig. Get distracted then run panicked into the kitchen and yank out the cookies. They look a little gold. Perfect. Try to take them off. Not quite done. Ah well, the other set's already in. Then, after they cool a bit, realize that, in fact, you have cooked them perfectly. Forget about timing them and try to take them out just as the tips are browning.
Let the cookies cool while you put one batch into the oven and a new batch onto the next sheet (you'll need three sheets to be as efficient as Thenryford here).
Always be sure to put the bowl of dough back in the fridge between batches.
Makes a lot of little bacon-chip chocolate-chip cookies.
(images to follow in a separate post)