Foodie Fridays – Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies!

So it’s Christmas Eve Eve, and you’ve just realized you need one more treat for Santa.  If Santa is anything like me, he loves sweet and savory.  This recipe is your basic chocolate chip cookie recipe, with a few additions. This was my first foray into the whole “bacon as a dessert” world (which I’ve been eye-ing patiently for a while now) and trust me when I say this will not disappoint.  I actually wish I had put in MORE bacon. Is it also weird that whole time I was making these cookies I was thinking about Katie Bower of BowerPowerBlog.com and her love for bacon? She is hilarious, and mentions bacon all the time. Go read at least her last three blog posts and come back. I’ll wait.

Back? Good. This recipe is borrowed from the ever talented Kevin from ClosetCooking.com (you can go read his posts too, but make these cookies first!!):

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies
via ClosetCooking.com
(Makes approx 12 cookies) (I strongly suggest doubling or tripling this recipe)

1/4 cup butter (softened, feel free to replace some with bacon grease)***See below*** 
1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/8 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup dark chocolate chunks
5 strips bacon (Totally use his recipe for candied bacon)

Directions:
1. Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl.
2. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.
3. Mix the flour, baking soda and salt in another bowl.
4. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet.
5. Mix in the chocolate and the bacon.
6. Place the dough onto a cookie sheet one table spoon at a time.
7. Bake in a 350F preheated oven for 8-10 minutes.

I’m pretty sure these cookies qualify for Christmas breakfast treats too, having said bacon in them and all. Have a very Merry Christmas!

***EDIT/UPDATE: So over the past few months I’ve made these cookies several times.  The first time I made them, the recipe called for 1/2 cup of butter (or 1 whole stick) but in my head I read that as 1/2 stick (or 1/4 cup). They came out great, and I was none the wiser to my mistake until I screwed up this recipe.  Since then, I’ve made the cookies with the 1/2 cup or 1 full stick of butter, and they were not as good!!  They flattened out like pancakes, and I like my cookies chunky!  So I tried it again, using half the butter and my mistake definitely made this recipe better.  The recipe above now lists 1/4 cup of butter, which is exactly what I suggest you use (unless you are doubling, duh).  Just know that if you’ve looked at this in the past, it used to say 1/2 cup and I believe that it is so much better this way! And you can’t complain about it being a bit healthier with less butter too :-)***

Foodie Fridays – Crock Pot Beef Stew

It’s the first edition of Foodie Fridays!  You can check out all of my previously posted recipes (posted on random days of the week before I got my act together) here.

Who doesn’t love an easy crock pot recipe that involves a favorite comfort food.  At the first sign of cold weather I broke out my crock pot to make a simple beef stew. I’ll give my mom most of the credit on this recipe, but it’s one of those dishes that everyone makes in their own unique way.  This is how I made mine this past week:

Crock Pot Beef Stew
(serves 6 – 8)
1 lb cubed beef lightly floured (I did 1/2 lb of the beef chuck cheap stuff and 1/2 lb of the more expensive top sirloin)
1 medium white or yellow onion, chopped
3 – 4 carrots, chopped
3 – 4 stalks of celery, chopped
2 – 3 potates, cubed
12 oz can beef stock (or water and beef bouillon)
1/2 cup water (enough to cover the food in the pot)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp all spice
1 tsp minced garlic
1- 2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper

Chop up your vegetables and meat to be approximately the same size chunks (this will help everything cook more evenly).  Lightly coat your meat chunks with flour (this will help to thicken the gravy, you can also sear the meat quickly in a frying pan at this point but I usually skip that step). I put my vegetables in first and meat on top.  Add your spices to your liquid, give it a stir, and pour over top.  Add water as necessary to just cover everything.

You can cook it all on high for about 5 – 6 hours, or on low for 7- 8 hours.  Or if you are like me, I cooked it on high for about 4 hours, gave it a stir, and then cooked it on low for another 10 hours because I forgot to set an alarm to get up in the middle of the night to turn it off.  Everything still tasted great, and the the vegetables weren’t over cooked. Remove the bay leaves, boil up some egg noodles or rice right before serving and pour the stew over top. Enjoy!

Bloomin’ Onion Bread Appetizer

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving! Ours was great.  We stayed in Brooklyn and enjoyed some fried turkey, two different rice stuffings, and lots of great veggies and desserts.  My contribution to the mix was trying out this amazing “bloomin’ onion bread” that was a hit.  I already can’t wait to make it again when I have a holiday dinner with some of my girlfriends in a few weeks!

This was super easy.  Simply cut your loaf of bread (of course I couldn’t find sour dough at any of our local bakeries but white worked just fine!) horizontally and vertically without cutting all the way through the loaf.  Mix up your melted butter, chopped green onions, and poppy seeds and pour it into a ziplock.  Make a big enough snip in the corner of the bag so that the green onions can get out.  Pour about half of it carefully down into the cracks of the bread. Next, wedge in your slices of cheese.  Don’t worry about getting it in between every single crevice.  Pour the remaining butter/onion/poppy seed mixture over the top and pop it in the a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes covered in foil.  Remove the foil and let it bake for another 10 minutes so the cheese gets nice and melty.  Enjoy!

Bloomin’ Onion Bread
adapted from ChangeableTable.com
1 unsliced loaf sourdough bread
1 pound Monterey Jack cheese, thinly sliced
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup finely diced green onion, with tops
2 -3 tsp poppy seeds

Directions:
Cut the bread lengthwise and width-wise – without cutting through the bottom crust. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Insert cheese in between cuts. Combine butter, onion, and poppy seeds. Drizzle over bread. Wrap in foil; place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Unwrap. Bake 10 more minutes, or until cheese is melted.