Maple, bacon added to decadent cookies for dad

By ALISON LADMAN

The Associated Press

These cookies aren’t exactly a healthy treat for dad. What with ½-cup maple sugar and ½-cup bacon fat, not to mention the bacon itself. But it’s not as if chocolate chip cookies were a healthy choice before we added all those luscious improvements, right?

So why not embrace these treats for what they are and let Father’s Day be a day of indulgence for your dad?

These cookies can be made ahead, then stored in tightly sealed bags or containers at room temperature for a week. For longer storage, they can be frozen.

MILK CHOCOLATE

MAPLE BACON COOKIES

Start to finish: 1 hour

1 pound maple bacon

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup packed brown sugar

½ cup maple sugar, plus additional for sprinkling

½ tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. flake sea salt, plus additional for sprinkling

½ tsp. maple extract

2 eggs

2¾ cups all-purpose flour

11.5-ounce bag milk chocolate chips

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until well browned and crispy. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain and cool. Reserve bacon grease in the skillet. Once bacon has cooled, crumble or chop it into small chunks. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat oven to 375 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together butter, ½-cup reserved bacon grease, brown sugar, maple sugar, baking soda, salt and maple extract until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating and scraping the bowl in between additions.

Mix in flour, then chocolate chips and crumbled bacon. Scoop cookies onto the prepared baking sheets in 1-tablespoon mounds. Sprinkle tops lightly with a bit of sea salt and maple sugar.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden around the edges and the tops no longer look glossy.

Allow to cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Makes 4 dozen

Nutrition information per cookie: 150 calories; 80 calories from fat (53 percent of total calories); 8 g fat (4 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 20 mg cholesterol; 15 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 9 g sugar; 3 g protein; 110 mg sodium.

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