December 8, 2010

Bacon Pecan Cookies

We had our first snow last weekend.  Snow is always magical in the south.  You spend days hearing it's going to happen, finding it hard to actually believe the forecast, but secretly hoping and praying it will happen (and preferably on a weekday as nobody works in the South on a snow day).  Then it does happen, all of a sudden you look out the window and there are these big, soft snowflakes coming down, melting right into the ground.  And two hours later, they're still falling, now accumulating and coming down faster, but still such big and soft flakes that it actually feels good to stand out in it.  And everything is so quiet.

The dogs are thrilled, because there is all this new stuff to smell and roll on and eat.  

Luckily, they have a nice little house where they can find refuge when they get chilly.  

Freya can't stop moving- she's a black blur on a white background as she streaks from one spot to another. This is literally the most exciting thing in the world and if she stops for a second she might miss it all. 

Ellie darts about for a bit, but decides that while it was fun at first, it's too cold to be a part of.  She'd rather watch. And be first in line to lick the hot chocolate mug when you're done with it.   

It's the perfect kind of day for baking, for stepping out and getting really cold, then coming in to bundle up and drink something warm.  These cookies are a perfect, easy thing to make on a snow day.  They're fantastic by themselves, tasty with some cheddar and apple, but dressed up with maple syrup were even better.  I think next time, I'd make sure the bacon and pecan pieces weren't chopped to small, or add more, and sub maple syrup for some of the sugar.  They would be great with a chocolate, peanut butter, or maple frosting, too.  

I'd bookmarked the recipe a while back from this site, but had to go to my favorite ingredient conversion site to get American units for the ingredients, so I didn't make them right away.  But I'm glad I waited, because these actually went best with a cold, red nose, some sleepy and snow-worn dogs, and a big mug of hot chocolate.  

Bacon-Pecan Cookies
adapted from Angie's Recipes
1/4 cup bacon, chopped
8 tbsp (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
2 egg whites
2 cups pastry flour (or all-purpose)
1/4 cup chopped pecans
Cook bacon and chop into large-ish pieces.  Cream butter and sugar together, then add egg whites and beat until everything comes together.  Add the flour until completely combined.  (I added it by 1/2 cups, and ended up kneading in the last bit because the dough got pretty stiff.)  Add the pecans and bacon, using your hands (again, because the dough will be stiff) to mix completely.  Roll into a log, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.  
Preheat oven to 350F.  Slice into cookies and place on parchment or Silpat-lined baking sheet.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, rotating halfway through cooking.  The cookies should not be soft when they're done, and slightly browned.  

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