baker, baker rant, baking, cookies, pork

Fads and Trends

April 23, 2013

Food trends come and go.  The current trends in the pastry world are cupcakes and another is bacon. I have seen women lose their minds over cupcakes. Really… like each cupcake held the secret of youth.
The other trend you might have noticed is the addition of bacon in and on everything. Bacon ice cream, bacon soda, bacon on cupcakes, you get the idea. In other words: Bacon + edible common/proper noun.
I like some trends and others I just roll my eyes when I see people go all zombie apocalypse over it.
Don’t get me wrong. If someone is willing to pay me to indulge his or her cravings then get out of my way so I can release the T Virus!
I present to you bacon chocolate chip cookies.

My co-worker and his friend sauntered over to my cubicle to issue me a pastry challenge so to speak. He asked if I can incorporate bacon into chocolate chip cookies.
My response: How many do you want and when do you want it?
I have a fool-proof cookie recipe, but any baker will tell you that if you add anything into the equation you can possibly change the flavor (for better or worse) and possibly the texture. 
First off I baked off a pound of thick cut hickory smoked bacon in a sheet pan for 400°F. As easily distracted that as I usually am, I hung around the kitchen to make sure it didn’t burn.
After 30 minutes and some rotation I had a pan of porky greasy happiness.

I drained, cooled, and chopped the bacon. From that I set aside a cup for decorations.
Tossing the bacon in the cookie dough I could see specks of bacon among the chips. Since this was not a test, but the real thing, I hoped I had an equal amount of chocolate and bacon flavor.
When the cookies cooled I dipped each cookie in Merkin dipping chocolate. I sprinkled the leftover bacon bits while the chocolate was still wet.
Side note: You can use any dark, milk, or white chocolate you wish. This chocolate I prefer to use as decoration because tempering isn’t necessary (read: I’m lazy).
I think they turned out darned pretty. I’m big on presentation, but the ongoing debate with my friends is presentation versus taste. I think people eat with their eyes and nose even before the item hits your taste buds. If it doesn’t smell good or look good, it makes it more difficult for someone to try something different even if the description sounds tasty.
So relying on presentation, I think the chocolate and bacon coating on the outside gives you an extra pow of bacon/chocolate deliciousness.

I delivered the cookie challenge to my co-worker and I think he practically fainted. Initially I describe this cookie as a man cookie, but that’s sexist. There are plenty of female aficionados of bacon.
The bacon trend train still has a way to go. I’m pondering what else can I highlight with bacon… bacon pecan pies, bacon blondie brownies… there may never be a final answer.

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