I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! My sister-in-law’s aunt was kind enough to open up her home to us this year, since this is the first time we’re celebrating Thanksgiving away from all of our family. It was difficult not being surrounded by all the traditions Peter and I were used to, but so fun getting to join in someone else’s traditions too.
I was on cookie duty. I made pumpkin cookies, chocolate chip and cranberry oatmeal cookies, pecan balls, and my new favorite cookie in the world: bacon ginger cookies!
I need to come up with a more clever name for them, since I have decided that these will be a tradition in our household. It’s a combination of a couple different recipes I’ve seen, and I know it sounds weird. But the bacon grease gives the cookies a slight smoky flavor. Needless to say, you’ll need to plan a bit ahead if you want to make these – unless you already happen to save bacon grease, or are planning on cooking about three packages of bacon anytime soon.
Bacon Ginger Cookies:
- 2 1/2 C. all purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
- 6 tbsp. bacon grease, softened (not melted)
- 1/3 C. brown sugar
- 1/3 C. granulated sugar (plus more for rolling)
- 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 C. dark molasses
- 1/3 C. candied ginger, finely diced (this is about the contents of a tall jar in the spice aisle. Don’t worry if it’s a little more or a little less)
Preheat the oven to 375° and line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, add flour, baking soda, spices, pepper, and salt, whisking to combine.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, bacon grease, and sugars, and mix on medium speed until they are light and fluffy. Reduce the speed a bit, and add the egg yolk and vanilla. Increase the speed and mix until everything is well incorporated.
Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the molasses and beat until it is fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides again, and put mixer on lowest setting. Add flour mixture and the diced ginger. Beat until just incorporated.
Get a small bowl and fill it about half-way with more granulated sugar for rolling. Roll large balls of dough (about 2 in. in diameter), and drop them one at a time in the sugar bowl, rolling them around until covered. Set the balls on the lined baking sheet, at least 2 in. apart (don’t press the cookies flat).
Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or soon after the tops of the cookies have gotten a crackling effect on top. Don’t overbake them! Cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack. Enjoy warm or cooled, with a cold glass of milk.