Last year at work, before COVID hit, one of my co-workers brought donuts as a treat for a birthday. One of them was maple icing with bacon bits on top. It was the best donut I ever had. So, of course, the wheels started turning, and I thought there has to be a way to make this into a cookie. Forgetting about it for almost a year, it came up again a couple of weeks ago.
Starting the research with the types of maple syrups. Some were really thin in body, and the taste was light. Tasting about 10 different maple syrups, the last one I tried was by The Maple Guild. The one I tried and loved was the Organic Bourbon Barrel Aged Syrup. It is a little more expensive than your average run-of-the-mill maple syrup from the grocery store, but honestly, it makes all the difference in taste for the icing and the cookie.
To go along with the great maple taste, I choose lean small strips of bacon, which I could use almost all the bacon after I chopped it up. You don't want any fatty pieces, but you do want crunchy real bacon bits. Trust me; the jar-bought bacon bits will do in a pinch, but the best flavor for your cookie recipe is real bacon.
Bourbon Maple Syrup with Bacon CookiesBarbara Hall
- ½ cup room temperature Butter unsalted 1 stick
- 8 oz softened Cream Cheese
- 1 cup Sugar white 198 g
- 1 tablespoon Bourbon maple syrup
- 2 Eggs
- 2-½ cups All-purpose flour 300 g
- 2 teaspoon Baking powder
- ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
ICING AND TOPPING
- 1 cup Powdered sugar 114 g
- 4 tablespoon Melted butter unsalted
- 2 tablespoon + 2 teaspoon Bourbon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Bacon Cooked and cut into small pieces
- Weigh or measure into a small bowl the sugar and set aside. In another bowl, weigh or measure the flour, baking powder, salt and run a whisk through to blend.
- In your stand or hand-held mixer, add the butter and cream cheese and blend on medium speed till smooth, about 2 minutes. *If your butter and cream cheese are still really cold, a trick I do is put my hands around the bottom of the mixer bowl to help warm up the butter and cream cheese. Keep moving your hands around the bowl to warm the whole bowl up. I turn off the mixer and scrape down the side.
- Turn the mixer back on at a lower speed and add the sugar. Turn the mixer to the medium-high setting for 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture is a lighter color and silky smooth. Crack one egg into a small bowl; this allows you to be sure there are no eggshells before adding to the mixer bowl. Incorporate the first egg before repeating with the second egg. Next, add the maple syrup and blend. Scrape down the sides and across the bottom before turning the mixer to a low speed and slowly adding the flour mixture. Take the bowl off the stand and wrap the top of the bowl loosely with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 350°, and line 2 cookie sheet pans with parchment paper. Using a medium cookie scoop, add 12 mounds to a pan. Since I am adding icing to this cookie, I want to flatten the tops just a little. I take a water glass with a flat bottom and gently press down the tops, so they are not as round. A tip for using the glass, *I find it sticks to the cookie dough, so I have a wet paper towel next to me and run the bottom of the glass along with the wet paper towel between flatting each cookie. Bake 1 pan at a time for 11-13 minutes. After taking the pan out of the oven, move to a cooling rack. Allow the cookie to cool completely before icing them.
- While your cookies are cooling, cook your bacon until crispy and move to a paper towel to drain any grease off the bacon. After the bacon strips have cooled, cut them into small pieces, get rid of any pieces that did not render down the fat. You only want the meat bacon pieces. Set the bacon pieces off to the side.
- In a medium bowl, add the melted butter, powdered sugar, Bourbon maple syrup, vanilla extract, and whisk till blended. This took me about 2 minutes or less. Make sure your cookies are cool, and spread the icing over the top of one cookie. Take some of the bacon bits and sprinkle them on top of the icing. You want to make sure the bacon sticks to the icing since it starts to harden not long after spreading onto the cookie. This recipe makes 2 dozen. Enjoy!