Ready for another foodie christmas gift idea? And boy is this one super easy too. Tasty lil nuggets too. One could easily eat a cookie sheet portion of these with an ice cold glass of milk and call it a good day. These got rave reviews from my clients and friends.
And yeah, I am loving Top Chef All Stars. Did you see last nights episode at the museum? Hilarious! So funny when Dale said he was going to make "corn muffins with Nyquil".
Love every single one of those chefs. What a super, energy-packed group of chefs. They are ALL extremely friggin talented, would pay anything to just hang with them; they ALL make me want to do more, be more creative in the kitchen and rock on with my bad ass foodie self!
I have given you a peanut butter cookie recipe to use, but in all honesty you can use whatever one you prefer and I also think a plain sugar cookie recipe would work here too. Remember when you are spreading the dough not to make it too thin. You might have to increase your cooking time as you are making one giant cookie in essence. Don't over cook, you want it slighty, a tiny bit, underdone because you want a moist bark, not thin and crispy. I mean one could try thin and crispy but I don't know how that would taste. Please make sure to finely mince the cooked bacon bits--this is not the recipe for large chunks.
pb & bacon cookie bark with smokey almonds
peanut butter cookie dough w/ bacon
(cookie dough slightly adapted from Baked: New Frontiers)
1 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour
2 ts of baking soda
1 ts sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, softened, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 ts pure vanilla extract
1 cup creamy peanut butter
½ - ¾ cup of cooked, FINELY chopped bacon chunks (add as much or as little as you like)
8 ounces of high quality dark chocolate (semi sweet)
A couple large handfuls of Smokehouse almonds
Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars together until fluffy.
Scrape down the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated.
The mixture will look light and fluffy.
Add the vanilla and peanut butter and beat until just incorporated.
Add half of the flour mixture and mix for 15 seconds. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix until just incorporated.
Using a spatula or wooden spoon, fold in the bacon chunks. Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. I did NOT do this, I went ahead and baked them and it was fine. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. (I like to spray them with nonstick spray too). Spread the batter out fairly thick, not too thin. I would wet my fingers or spatula with water and press cookie dough down. Don’t worry about making an even square or circle, this is bark and its supposed to look rustic. Remember, don’t press it too thin!
Bake for 12 - 17 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until the edges of cookie bark are light brown. We don’t want to make this crispy; we want it still soft.
As soon as the pans come out of the oven this is when you want to sprinkle the chocolate chips over the hot cookie bark. In a few minutes the chocolate will melt and you can easily spread it around with a spatula. Then top with the smokey almonds and press them down in a bit to make sure they stay when dry. It’s not advisable to put this in the fridge to set as you will lose the glossiness of the chocolate. Takes a couple hours for chocolate to harden.