When I was little, there wasn’t a problem that couldn’t be solved with a cookie. Even peace in the Middle East may have been possible far as I was concerned, if they had negotiated with a plate of cookies in their midst. All these years later, not much has changed. Every time I sink my teeth into a delicious cookie, that’s all I can think about and I feel small again. And for that fleeting moment things are okay in the world. Things are okay with the world.
I have a list of my favourite cookies which has changed a little through different stages of my life, but a good, chewy chocolate chip cookie has ALWAYS been right up there. I mean isn’t that a pretty universal sentiment anyway? These are currently my favourite chocolate chip cookies and I hope you are just as excited as I am about these Double Chocolate, Bacon and Black Pepper Cookies!
My favourite chocolate chip cookie as a kid was Chips Ahoy! I loved their fold-over adverts in the Archie and Betty comics (see below). When I was living in Sri Lanka, these cookies were hard to find (and expensive!), but whenever I did get my hands on some, I would make them last for as long as possible (which of course wasn’t nearly long enough!).
A few years ago , I discovered Ina Garten’s chocolate chunk cookie recipe. I had made chocolate chip cookies before, but I loved her idea of making cocoa cookies with nice chunks of chocolate in them. And once I tried her recipe, I was hooked. Over the years, I have tweaked it a little bit to my taste, and I also started playing around with different ingredients. My sister would often ask me to make these for her whenever I visited my parents and I would make the cookie dough and then freeze raw cookie dough balls so she could bake them whenever she wanted. I used to do this for myself too, but inevitably I would end up eating them like truffles as well. Haha! How good is cookie dough right?
The recipe I’m sharing with you today is for my favourite type (currently) of chocolate chip cookies. A dark chocolate cookie with deliciously sweet white chocolate and milk chocolate chunks/chips and salty, candied bacon bits and a hint of spice with black pepper! It’s an awesome combination. They are truly amazing! 😀
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- ⅓ cup white sugar
- ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder (unsweetened), sifted
- 1 cup wholewheat flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 oz white chocolate, chopped (or chips)
- 5 oz milk chocolate, chopped (or chips)
- 5 oz of candied black pepper bacon (recipe below)
- Extra black pepper to sprinkle on top (optional)
- 1 lb bacon packet
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400°F/ 200°C.
- Lay out the bacon on a lined baking tray (or on a non-stick rack placed on a baking tray)
- Mix the black pepper and brown sugar well and sprinkle it on top of the bacon strips.
- Bake in the oven for about 10-15 minutes until the bacon starts to brown at the edges and the sugar has melted.
- Remove from the oven, and using tongs turn the bacon strips over and sprinkle more of the sugar-pepper mix (make more of the mix if needed).
- Return to the oven and bake for a further 10-15 minutes or until the bacon is crispy (check the oven periodically to make sure the bacon doesn't burn)
- Remove the bacon from the tray and let it cool. Weigh out 5 oz of the bacon and chop it into little bits (the size of chocolate chips)
- You can place any extra bacon strips in ziploc bags and place it in the fridge or freezer. Re-heat and use for sandwiches.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Line and prepare 2 cookie trays with parchment paper and set aside.
- Mix the salt, flour and baking soda together and set aside.
- In a large bowl, place the butter, vanilla and sugar (both brown and white) and cream them together until light and fluffy. You can use a hand held beater.
- Add the egg and mix well to incorporate.
- Add the cocoa powder and ¾ of the wholewheat flour mix and mix well to combine.
- Add the rest of the flour, chocolate chips, and cut bacon and fold through using a wooden spoon, making sure it is all incorporated well.
- Using a number 40, small scoop - scoop 6 portions onto the cookie tray spaced well apart. Sprinkle the tops with some crushed black pepper. Make sure the cookie tray is completely cool.
- Bake in a preheated oven for exactly 12 minutes. Remove from oven, and let it cool for a few minutes. Transfer the cookies onto a wire rack and let it cool completely.
- Repeat with the second cookie tray, while the first cookie tray cools down to be used again.
- Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days or longer in the fridge.
As amazing as these cookies are on their own, they were destined for something even greater than just being eaten with a glass of milk. And I will tell you all about that soon! 🙂
Every bite of this cookie is amazingly chocolatey and the wholemeal flour gives the cookie a fantastic nutty flavour and texture. The salty bacon bits might get lost visually in the dark brown cookie but that I think makes them even more of a surprise when you do bite into them! On top of that you get this subtle heat (from the black pepper) spreading through your mouth when you chew the cookie which also dials down the sweetness a little. That contrast of flavours is incredible!
These cookies are like small single serving-sized goodies packed with an amazing flavour profile. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee, morning tea, evening tea… you can eat and savour a cookie, no matter what time of day it is. Isn’t that a beautiful thing? 🙂
Do you know how to make cookies even better? Make Ice Cream Sandwiches! In this picture, I used these cookies with Buttermilk Pancake Ice Cream with Blackberry chips. This ice cream sandwich is my favourite breakfast for dessert ice cream 🙂
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