I hear the bacon trend is on its way out (citing our very own, local and awesome Eating Well magazine). And on one hand, I am definitely inclined to agree. I cringe every time a Chopped contestant grabs the bacon, as it almost always leads to a judge’s complaint about the dish’s overpowering bacon flavor. While delicious, it does not belong in everything. (*sigh* ’tis true)
On the other hand, I was a vegetarian for the majority of my life. Raised by vegetarian (or pescetarian, to be exact) parents, my brother and I would only eat meat every now and then, when mom and dad would tire of our endless pleading and begrudgingly stop at a McDonalds, or mom would pick up Brooks chicken if she happened to be in Oneonta. (And if you happen to be in or anywhere near Oneonta, NY, stop at Brooks and pick up at least a dozen half chickens. Freeze the ones you can’t immediately devour. You won’t regret it.) I became 100% vegetarian in college (how original of me), and continued my meatless existence until a few years ago. And during that time, the one thing I’d occasionally crave was the amazing local bacon I would devour every weekend at the pancake house where I waitressed throughout high school. And once I decided to start eating piggies again, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on some greasy bacon. And while I resist the urge to put it in everything, I will use it when it will compliment (but not overpower) the rest of the ingredients. And it definitely works in these cookies.
Bacon No-Bake Cookies
yield: approximately 3 dozen
- 1¾ cups of white granulated sugar
- ½ cup of whole milk
- ½ cup (1 stick) of butter
- 4 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ cup of crunchy peanut butter
- 3 cups of oats (quick-cooking or regular)
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- 10–12 strips of bacon
Fry the bacon until crispy. Remove from pan and let drain on a paper towel. Once it’s cool enough to touch, break it up into little bits.
Combine the butter, sugar, milk, and cocoa powder in a medium sauce pan. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Once the mixture reaches a full boil (not just a simmer), cook for 1½ minutes. (Try to be as exact as possible with the time. If the mixture cooks for too long, they’ll get all crumbly.)
As soon as the 1½ minutes are up, remove the mixture from the heat. Mix in the peanut butter, bacon, and vanilla. Once all that is all mixed in, add in the oats (about a cup at a time), and mix until well-combined.
Drop tablespoons of batter onto wax paper. Let them cool for a few hours, or until set.