Need bacon? Ask the baconier

Posted: Thursday, July 17, 2008

Some time ago, a friend of mine moved to Las Vegas and got a job cooking at a 3,000-room hotel. As you might imagine, the hotel kitchen was enormous. For efficiency's sake, they would assign one person to each prep task, and have them do just that for a full eight hours. So, one person would slice tomatoes for eight hours, another would chop onions for eight hours, etc.

Another person, all they would do from dawn to dusk was cook bacon. The rest of the cooks would jokingly refer to this person as "the baconier."

Sure it's boring, but it's a union job with bennies. And you and I both know there are endless jobs that make "baconier" look like a dream career. Plus, when you get off work, all the dogs in the world love you.

Sadly, there are some people who refuse to enjoy bacon. Vegetarians are notorious for this. Also, people who want to live to see their great-grandchildren. Realistically? Probably a bunch of snot-nosed brats. A pretty dubious rationale for denying yourself the occasional pleasure of a well-made B.L.T.

There is a new recipe making the rounds that has come to my attention. This recipe is, at best, unusual - even revolutionary - and at worst, dangerous for any number of reasons. It's a recipe for bacon chocolate chip cookies. People say they are delicious, provided you've been warned about the bacon. Those who were forced to discover the bacon on their own were initially much less impressed.

This meat cookie, while delicious, is part of a disturbing trend. Gourmet chocolate makers are offering chocolate bars with bacon in the chocolate. Ball parks across the country are making cheeseburgers using a glazed doughnut as a bun. The traditional lines that separate meat from dessert are under attack.

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter

⅔ cup packed brown sugar

⅔ cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

2 ½ cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 lbs. bacon, fried crisp, drained well and crumbled (no 'Bac-Os' or imitation bacon bits)

Beat together the butter, sugars and eggs. In another bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and stir. The dough will be slightly soft. Add chocolate chips and bacon. Refrigerate dough at least one hour. Pinch off 1 ½-inch pieces of dough and roll into balls. Set dough balls about two inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten dough balls slightly with your fingers in the center.

Bake cookies at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. for about 10 minutes, or until they start to turn golden. Allow cookies to cool on a cooling rack.

• Derrick Snyder is a chef instructor at Chez Alaska and can be reached at bigbearcook@gmail.com.



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