Sunday Baking: Petite Sirah & Candied Bacon Bourbon Chocolate Chip Cookies

Carmel Winery CorkI’ve wanted to experiment with putting bacon in my cookies for a while, but I felt there was something intimidating about puting the sweet and savory, particularly bacon, together in my cookies. Since the “My Chocolate Chip Cookies” started me off with a good chocolate chip cookie base, though, I decided to make some tweaks to that underlying recipe and bite the bullet by adding bacon to my cookies.

Tidy Mom’s Candied Bacon Bourbon Chocolate Chip Cookies seemed like the perfect place to start.  Since I didn’t have any bacon fat to use, first I made bacon (with a little extra for breakfast), then I candied it and let it cool, before finally being able to make the dough and letting it chill for several hours in the refrigerator.  It was a bit of a process and learning experience, but candying the bacon actually wasn’t too difficult.

2009 Carmel Winery Old Vines Petite Sirah

2009 Carmel Winery Old Vines Petite Sirah

Thinking through the flavors in the cookie, I really wanted a deep, bold red wine to match the spices and savoriness, and I was looking for something with a little bit of acidity to help cut through the fat.  So, I grabbed the 2009 Carmel Winery Old Vines Petite Sirah.  As someone who is Jewish but doesn’t keep kosher, it wasn’t until after I opened the wine and started taking pictures and notes that I realized I paired a kosher wine with a bacon cookie. Eeeek!  That said, while my kosher readers won’t be able to indulge in the pairing, the two went together very nicely.

The 2009 Carmel Winery Appellation Old Vines Petite Sirah (winery, snooth) is made in the Judean Hills of Israel with 100% Petite Sirah grapes.  The wine was a deep, inky purple with flecks of ruby throughout.  On the nose, there were blueberries and violets with a hint of something that reminded me of a freshly paved driveway.  On the mouth, there were blueberries, violets, with a hint of black pepper.  The wine was full-bodied, with medium-to-high acidity, and firm tannins.

2009 Carmel Winery Old Vines Petite Sirah and Candied Bacon Bour

2009 Carmel Winery Old Vines Petite Sirah and Candied Bacon Bour

Is this worth a glass after work? Definitely!  If you see this wine in the store, grab it; you won’t be disappointed.  At $18 a bottle, this Petite Sirah offers a lot wine for not a whole lot of money.  This wine takes every stereotype of kosher wines and throws them out the window.   Instead, it’s luscious; it’s easy to drink; it’s food friendly, but also enjoyable on its own; and, ultimately, it’s everything I look for in a red wine.

As for the Candied Bacon Bourbon Chocolate Chip Cookies, there was a lot going on with this cookie…and I think it was a little too much.  While I understand the flavors that were being attempted, I will simplify it when I make another batch—definitely eliminate the cayenne pepper and the bacon grease, probably eliminate the bourbon, and add a few more strips of bacon.

Overall, the cookies and the wine were a success.  Regardless of whether you’re looking for a kosher wine, this is one to grab…and if you eat bacon, I recommend pairing it with a Candied Bacon Chocolate Chip cookie.

Question of the Day: Do you like to mix your sweet and savory flavors?  Do you like pairing those flavors with wine?

Candied Bacon Bourbon Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe*

Ingredients

Ingredients for Candied Bacon Bourbon Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients for Candied Bacon Bourbon Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 5 slices bacon, raw (Next time, I will use 7 or 8 slices)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/3 cups bleached all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (Next time, I will eliminate)
  • 9 tablespoons butter (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) or 7 tablespoons if you don’t plan to clarify the butter
  • 1/4 cup bacon grease, chilled (Next time, I will eliminate)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 large eggs
  • 2-3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon (Next time, I might eliminate)
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips

Instructions
For Candied Bacon

  1. Preheat oven to bake at 375°F.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Toss bacon in maple syrup; I put the bacon in a Ziploc bag and pour the syrup in to evenly coat without breaking the bacon.
  4. Lay bacon on prepared pan.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Remove bacon from oven, allow to cool, then crumble candied bacon and set aside.

For Cookies

  1. Clarify and brown the butter.   Measure out 7 tablespoons of butter, scrape in the browned solids, and let it cool to below 80 degrees F before combining other ingredients.
  2. In medium bowl, combine chocolate chips and crumbled bacon.
  3. In second medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, salt, and pepper (if you use it).  Set aside.
  4. In mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine butter, bacon grease, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until very light, between 3-5 minutes.
  5. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.
  6. Add vanilla and bourbon, mixing until combined.
  7. On low speed, add dry ingredients and mix for 30 seconds.
  8. Add chocolate chips and bacon, mixing on low until just until evenly incorporated.
  9. Divide dough in half and wrap each piece in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.
  10. Preheat oven to 375F.
  11. Remove each batch 5 to 10 minutes before shaping it.
  12. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.
  13. Take a rounded tablespoon of dough and roll between the palms of your hands to create 1 to 1/2 inch balls.
  14. Place the dough balls onto the baking sheet 2 to 3 inches apart and press them down so that each is about 1/2 inch high.
  15. Place in oven and bake until golden brown, about 9-11 minutes.
  16. Remove from oven and place the baking sheet on wire rack for 1 minute before transferring the cookies onto another rack to finish cooling.

*Recipe adapted from Tidy Mom’s Candied Bacon Bourbon Chocolate Chip Cookies and Rose Levy Beranbaum’s My Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Price: $18
Purchased at Kosherwine.com
Overall: 4 Corks

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