Saturday, December 24, 2005

Cookie Collection 2005

A contender for Cookie Collection 2005

Bacon-Fat Ginger Cookies

The New York Times's fashion critic, of all people, supplied this recipe. The key, she says, is to fry 1 1/2 pounds of cheap bacon and use the resulting milky bacon fat as shortening. Needless to say, I was fascinated. Being a modern cook, I don't save fat, but I know that my hypothetical praire ancestors did. I also know that they cooked with molasses a lot. So I agree with Cathy Horyn's conjecture that this recipe was probably the result of improvisation in a country kitchen. Ever wonder what 3/4 of a cup a bacon fat would look like? It's surprisingly appealing actually--not bacon-y at all.

The article containing this recipe was headed "Season's Drippings." That's all you need to know.


(adapted from Cathy Horyn's adaption from Nelle Branson's Trinity Episcopal Church Recipe Book)

Mix together in a large bowl:
3/4 cup bacon fat, cooled (from 1 1/2 pounds of cheap bacon)
1 cup sugar
4 Tablespoons molasses
1 large egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (I used fleur de sel, because that's what I had around)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Chill dough for a few hours in the fridge. Make youself a BLT.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. I used greased and floured cookie trays, but Horyn says to use parchment. Form the satisfyingly pliable dough into 1 Tablespoon balls, roll in sugar, and place on the cookie sheet far apart (these babies really spread out). I sprinkled a little extra sugar on the tops of mine as I flattened them with the tines of a fork. Bake for 10 minutes, until dark and ginger snappy. Cool briefly, and then enjoy bacon as you've never tasted it before.

Submitted by Katherine from ToastPoint


Chilefire said...

Wow, I like the sound of that! I would have to try it to be sure :)
Wouldn't want to use bacon that is too smoky I would think... but sounds intriging... (I tried bacon ice cream once... not my thing).

Katherine said...

The ginger and molasses are pretty strong flavors, and the slight hint of smoke makes the cookies more interesting, I think. The key, as I noted, is to use cheap bacon.