Bacon Fat Chocolate Chip Cookies with Bourbon and Pecans are amazing. If you love salty-sweet combos, these are the cookies for you.
Yes, you read that correctly, bacon fat and bourbon. These aren't your childhood chocolate chip cookies.
These are the most complex-tasting chocolate chip cookies I have ever had. They don't taste like bacon, they have this subtle umami flavor that is hard to identify.
Bacon has become a crazy popular trend. I see it in all sorts of recipes so why not cookies too. Basically, the bacon fat replaces part of the butter in these cookies.
Do you cook with bacon fat? I use it all the time for savory applications but bacon fat in cookies was a new one for me.
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Why you will love this recipe
- If you love salty-sweet combos with just a hint of smoke, these are the cookies for you. The bacon fat adds a subtle smokey flavor along with a little extra salt.
- Cookies are a great make-ahead dessert. Mix up the dough, roll it into balls, and freeze. The next time you are craving a freshly baked cookie, thaw some dough, bake, and enjoy.
How to store bacon grease
My favorite way to store bacon grease is in the refrigerator. Once filter into a glass mason, it will keep for up to six months in the refrigerator.
You could also store bacon grease in the freezer. Pour strained and cooled bacon grease into an ice cube tray. Once frozen remove the cubes from the tray and place in an airtight container labeled with the date and contents. Bacon grease can be frozen for up to a year.
Can bacon grease be stored at room temperature?
You could also store strained bacon grease on the counter in one of these cute containers for up to two months.
For more information about storing and using bacon grease, watch this video from Taste of Home.
If you don’t have any saved bacon fat, you will need to fry about one pound of bacon to get ½ cup of bacon fat. Pour it into a glass jar and let it chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour or two to harden.
What is the best way to cook bacon?
My favorite way to cook bacon is on a foil-lined sheet pan in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for 10-15 minutes. It is so simple and lining your pan with foil makes the process virtually mess-free. The foil also forms into a convenient spout to pour the bacon grease into my mason jar.
For more information about cooking bacon in the oven, watch this video from Downshiftology.
Bread Flour: Bread flour produces more gluten creating a chewy cookie.
Kosher Salt: Enhances the flavors of the other ingredients.
Baking Soda: Provides the leavening for the cookies.
Unsalted Butter: Room temperature butter is easier to blend with the sugar.
Bacon Fat: Bacon fat seems to melt more quickly than butter be sure to leave plenty of space between the cookies. Room temperature bacon fat is also easier to blend with the sugar.
Brown Sugar & Granulated Sugar: Using more brown sugar than white sugar adds moisture and helps to produce a soft and chewy cookie.
Egg and Egg Yolk: Eggs should be at room temperature. The fat from the additional egg yolk adds richness and helps bind the dough.
Bourbon: These cookies do not taste alcoholic, most of the alcohol cooks out while baking. Use whatever bourbon you have on hand. No need to go out and buy an expensive bottle of bourbon.
Vanilla Extract: Always use pure vanilla extract not imitation.
Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips: You can use either regular chocolate chips or chopped semi-sweet chocolate.
Pecans: Feel free to switch up the nuts if you don’t have pecans. Walnuts would also taste great.
Stand Mixer: I have a stand mixer from KitchenAid. My mom and brother bought it for me for my birthday almost 15 years ago. I use it weekly and it still works just like it did when it was brand new. It makes so many kitchen tasks easier and comes with a variety of attachments.Sign up for KitchenAid's Newsletter to receive 10% off your next order!
Rubber spatula: For folding batters together, I prefer a stiffer spatula like this one from OXO. It fits comfortably in my hand, is dishwasher safe, and is heat-resistant up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. Both the handle and head are silicone coated which makes it easy to clean and safe to use with my non-stick cookware and bakeware.
Sturdy cookie sheets. My favorite is these Airbake cookie sheets. They have a pocket of air in the center of the baking sheet that helps prevent the bottoms of the cookies from overcooking.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the butter, bacon fat, and sugars with the paddle attachment on medium speed until smooth. Lower the mixer speed to stir and add in the egg, egg yolk, bourbon, and vanilla. Mix until thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds.
Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and pecans with a spatula.
Wrap the dough in wax paper and refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it into balls, about 2 tablespoons of dough each. The dough may be a bit crumbly but will become smoother as you roll it.
Place the balls on a baking sheet leaving at least 2 inches in between each cookie. Flatten the balls slightly with your hand to help them spread.
Bake for 10 - 12 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Allow the cookies to cool for at least 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Baking Tip: My mom's trick for evenly baked cookies is to rotate the cookies while they bake. Place the first baking sheet of cookies on the lower rack of the oven and bake until they begin to spread out (usually the same amount of time it takes me to divvy out the dough on to the second baking sheet.) Move the first baking sheet of cookies to the top rack and rotate 180-degrees to finish baking and place the second baking sheet of cookies on the bottom rack. Continue this process until all of the cookies have been baked.
- Make sure all of the ingredients are at room temperature. This ensures the ingredients mix evenly and will give you the best final texture. To quickly bring the eggs to room temperature, place the whole eggs in a bowl of warm water for 10-15 minutes.
- You can use either regular chocolate chips or chopped semi-sweet chocolate.
- Refrigerate the dough for 2-3 hours to allow the flour to fully hydrate. Refrigerating the dough also allows the butter to solidify and stops your cookies from spreading too far when baked.
- Use a cookie scoop for evenly portioned cookies. Take the guesswork out of portioning cookies by using a cookie scoop to make sure each cookie is the same size.
- Alternatively, you could cut the block of cookie dough into even pieces with a knife.
- My secret for perfectly baked cookies is this AirBake cookie sheet. My cookies bake evenly every time I use these pans. AirBake cookie sheets have two aluminum layers with a layer of air in between them. The layer of air decreases the temperature of the top layer of metal, preventing the bottom of the cookie from browning too quickly. These pans are also really easy to clean. Just wipe them clean with a little soap and hot water. It is not recommended to fully submerge these pans in water or place them in a dishwasher.
- Baking times for all recipes are only suggestions. The actual baking time will vary depending upon your oven. It is helpful to know your oven and worth purchasing an inexpensive oven thermometer. Oven temperatures can vary as much as 50 degrees plus or minus.
Make-ahead, storing, and freezing instructions
Make-Ahead: You can mix up the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Storing: Baked cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
Freezing Cookie Dough: Unbaked cookie dough balls can be frozen for up to 3 months. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until solid. Once frozen, remove from the baking sheet and place in a zip-top bag. Label with the date and contents.
When you are ready to bake cookies, remove the cookie balls from the freezer, let them sit at room temperature while the oven preheats, and then bake. You may need to add a minute or two to the baking time.
Freezing Baked Cookies: Baked cookies can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Once the cookies have cooled completely, place them on a sheet pan and freeze until solid. Transfer the frozen cookies to an airtight container or zip-top bag. Label with the date and contents.
Thaw frozen cookies overnight in the refrigerator or on the counter.
Chewy cookies are my favorite type of cookies.
If they are yours too you will want to try these Salted Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies, Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, Nutella Brownie Cookies, or these Sourdough Snickerdoodles.
Thanks for Reading!
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