A while back, I saw a post on some food blog about making bacon chocolate-chip cookies. The idea intrigued me-- the combination of smoky, salty, and sweet was just enticing enough to override my inherent preference to avoid bacon (and the small part of my brain that shouted "NO THIS IS WRONG IN EVERY WAY").
But when I saw their efforts, I was disappointed. They produced a regular, moderately chewy chocolate-chip cookie with some chunks of bacon thrown in and a maple glaze on top. That did not appeal to me. I didn't want sweetness with my bacony goodness. I wanted something rich and complex and deliciously terrifying.
First off, the texture of the cookie. Now, I think in this instance, the tender but firm texture of shortbread is infinitely more pleasant than the chewy interior of your average chocolate-chip cookie. The rich, buttery flavor would also add a nice background, but would be neutral enough that it wouldn't take over the other flavors.
As for the chips, while I like sweet and savory, I felt like this needed something richer. And so I instead opted for the darkest chocolate chips I could find: about 72% cocoa. The chips I found were rather large, so I had to try to chop them down to a smaller size. It sort of worked (my kingdom for a properly sharp knife!).
While I liked the idea of adding in some maple notes, maple bacon is uninteresting to me. So I used maple syrup (real syrup, none of this maple-flavored corn syrup crap) as a sweetener in the cookie recipe, and stuck to regular center-cut bacon, which I cooked until it was quite crispy-- chewy bacon is disgusting and I'll stare down anyone who says otherwise-- and crumbled into pieces about the same size as the chocolate chips.
Preheat the oven to 325.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and maple syrup until fluffy and thoroughly combined. Toss in the pinch of salt, and then add in the flour. Stir until just combined.
Add the bacon and chocolate chips. Pause for just a moment to consider what you are doing. Ignore that tiny, worried voice in your head, and continue.
The dough will be very wet and soft. You can either roll it up in cling wrap and chill it for an hour (which will firm it up somewhat) before slicing into cookies, or do what I did and just roll out little balls with your hands and squish them into cookie shapes on a parchment-lined baking sheet. You will not want them very big-- these cookies are quite rich, and work best as slightly-more-than-bite-sized morsels.
Sprinkle each cookie with a tiny bit of Kosher salt and some coarse sugar, at about a 1:2 ratio. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the bottoms of the cookies begin to brown.
Let cool until you can handle them, and then taste.
Either curse my name or send me flowers, as applicable.