In the world of baking, the cookie might just be the most beloved treat. It’s the most versatile as well. They are perfect for the holidays, after school snacks, dessert, and bake sales, and gift giving. I have been tinkering with cookie recipes since I was a child baking in the kitchen with my mom and nana.
Cookies are blank canvas. Start with a flavor, then the texture of cookie you want to eat. Is it soft and cakelike? Maybe it’s chewy or crumbles in your mouth? Maybe it’s crispy. Next, think about incorporating any add-ins like candies, dried fruits, chips, ect. Lastly, the frosting. That is if you’re planning on icing it. Oh, and one last one. The garnishes, or the toppings on top of the icing. Welcome to these maple bacon cookies.
Sugar cookies have been around forever, and everyone has their own favorite recipe whether it’s passed down from family for generations, from the internet, a special cookbook, or a top secret recipe from a friend. I myself have a whole genre of sugar cookies recipes that range from thin and chewy, to soft and pillowy, to cakelike cookies, and crispy ones as well. After trying my hand at a few of the sugar cookie recipes and maple bacon topping, I came to love these soft and chewy ones the best.
How to Make Maple Bacon Cookies
- Mix all the dry ingredients together.
- Mix in wet ingredients.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate dough for four hours over overnight before baking.
- Bake in 350°F oven for 13-15 minutes or until cookie edges are golden brown.
- Pat down tops with a flat spatula.
- Cool on cookie rack.
- Beat softened cream cheese, butter, maple extract, powdered sugar, salt, and milk until icing batter is smooth and velvety.
- Boil maple syrup.
- Spoon thickened syrup onto cookies.
- Top with crumbled bacon immediately.
Making the Cookie Dough
The base of the cookie made an appearance on my website awhile ago. I have a similar recipe for Italian Christmas Cookies that I just love and that’s where this sugar cookie dough recipe is from. It tastes especially good with maple cream cheese frosting, along with bacon. I like to make these cookies in the spring, fall, and winter. They are great for holidays like Father’s Day, graduation parties, birthday parties, fall festivals, and Christmas cookie trays.
The candied maple glaze and bacon topping is indulgent and rich. Flavor loaded to the max with sweet and salty notes. The cookie adds just the right amount of texture so each bite has a complexity of deeply rich flavors that meld together with just the right amount of chew.
Ingredients in Maple Bacon Cookies
Butter: Use a good quality butter. Make sure it is at room temperature. The butter flavor and richness is noticeable in this recipe. But, butter isn’t just for it’s richly satisfyingly flavor. The amount of fat in a cookie recipe helps to determine the texture of the cookies’ crumb. When added in large amounts, the cookies will be more tender, and more crumbly. That’s because the fat coats the flour proteins, inhibiting the ability to form a strong gluten network.
Sugars: I opted to use granulated sugar instead of brown sugar in this recipe. Although brown sugar has a nice molasses taste, I wanted the maple flavor to stand out. Also, It’s important to cream the butter fat and the sugar until light and fluffy. In a stand mixer, this takes about 5 minutes. Using a hand mixer, this may take a little longer; about 7 minutes. Creaming the mixture will give the cookie structure and incorporate air into the dough.
Flour: All purpose flour has a moderate protein content. I like to use Gold Medal All-Purpose Flour and trust me, I can already hear the test kitchen chefs at Southern Living Magazine shouting at me to use their trusty favorite; White Lily. But lets face it, White Lily flour is not sold all throughout the United States, so we’ll save that one for biscuits.
Eggs: Including eggs into the batter is a major source of moisture for the cookie. It also aids in the structure by bonding with with the starches and protein in the flour. Eggs will give the cookies a richer taste, and a chewier cookie crumb.
Cornstarch: Using a little cornstarch helps develop a tender crumbly structure and texture to it. An equal amount of all-purpose flour may be used if cornstarch is unavailable.
Baking Powder: What does baking powder do in cookies? It adds carbon dioxide and prevents the cookie from spreading out. Instead, the cookie rises up. It’s used in all sorts of baking recipes as a leavening agent in place of yeast.
Cream Cheese: When I first dreamt of making maple bacon cookies a years ago, I tested a basic buttercream frosting and a cream cheese frosting on the cookie. I much prefer the cream cheese frosting for it’s tangy after taste. It pairs well with salty bacon and the sweet maple syrup topping.
Maple: Most grocery stores carry maple extract or maple flavoring or some sort. I have even found a maple bacon extract which is pretty heavenly and can also be used in the cookie. Maple sugar is available on the market, but it doesn’t add enough maple flavor to the cookie so stick to granulated sugar. To top the cookie off, I added a nice soft ball maple syrup candy topping. It does have to be boiled, but not for long and it will stay in place without sliding off the icing. I think it gives the cookie a luxurious appearance and won’t leave guests guessing it’s flavor.
Powdered Sugar: Make sure to fully cream the cream cheese and butter together into a smooth and palatial base. Next, beat in the powdered sugar until no lumps remain.
Bacon: The bacon topping makes this cookie, without a doubt. It can be cooked according to package directions or baked in the oven at 405°F for 20-25 minutes. Ideally, the bacon should be crispy and pretty well done so that it can be broken apart. TIP: Place the cooked and cooled bacon in a ziplock bag, squeeze out the air from the bag, and beat it with a rolling pin or hard object until it’s in fine crumbles.
Maple syrup season is here. Typically, tapping takes place in spring. March-April is a good time to tap a maple tree in Wisconsin. It’s incredible how much syrupy water comes out of the tree. We are talking about a lot of 5 gallon buckets. Most of the water gets boiled off during the cooking process and a very small amount of maple syrup is produced from the yield. It’s pretty incredible and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves a farm to table experience.
Now, for this recipe, you’ll need to boil the syrup. Place it into a small saucepan and turn the heat to medium-low. Allow the syrup to reach 350°F-360°F. Once syrup boils, it will create a lot of bubbles and foam. Simply continue to whisk the mixture throughout the process and take it’s temperature with a kitchen thermometer. When measuring the temperature, make sure the needle is not touching the bottom of the pot where it’s the hottest. Instead, aim to measure it halfway through by tilting the pot so more syrup gathers in one area.
Work quickly once the syrup is ready. I used a tablespoon and gently poured it into the center of each cookie. After eat cookie, I immediately sprinkled it with bacon crumbles. It hardens into a softball candy pretty quickly. This process will need to be repeated twice. Clean out the pan, and spatula and make more candied syrup. Reheating it will burn the dried sugars. It does make for a good candy though.
Q: I cannot find maple extract or flavoring. What can I substitute in its place?
A: If it can’t be found at the grocery store or online, like Amazon, use vanilla extract. The boiled syrup topping along will provide enough maple flavor.
Q: My cookies are puffy. How do I make them look like yours?
A: Once the cookies are done baking, immediately pat them down with a cookie spatula until they are flat. This will remove some of the air and provide a flat surface for the frosting and maple bacon topping.
Q: Can I freeze the cookies?
A: Cookie dough may be frozen for up to 6-9 months.
Q: Can I skip the syrup coating and just sprinkle bacon on top?
A: Yes, of course.
Try these reader favorite cookies next
- lemon cream cheese cookies
- Mexican wedding cakes
- chewy chocolate chip cookies
- lemon shortbread cookies
- caramel apple crisp cookie bars
- twix cookies
- lemon sugar cookies
Maple Bacon Cookies
Maple Cookie Dough
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
- ½ cup + 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1½ tsp maple extract
- 1¾ cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- ½ tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3 tbsp cream cheese softened
- 10 tbsp unsalted butter softened
- ½ tsp maple extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3½ cups powdered sugar
- ½ tbsp milk
- 1½ cups pure maple syrup
- 11 slices bacon thick cut, minced
- Cream butter, and sugar on high until light and fluffy. About 5 minutes.
- Mix in eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated.
- Mix in vanilla and maple extract.
- Whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt.
- Gradually add dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Mix until incorporated.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or simply grease sheet pan.
- Dough will be sticky. Use a cookie scoop to scoop dough onto baking sheets or simply use a tablespoon to scoop dough. TIP: If scoop gets sticky, dip it into a bowl of powdered sugar between scoops. Space cookies 1 inch apart.
- Bake in oven for 13-15 minutes or until the edges are slightly golden.
- Pat down the tops of the cookies with a flat cookie spatula.
- Transfer to cooling rack and allow to cool.
- To make the frosting, soften cream cheese in microwave in chucks for 30-45 seconds. Then add to bowl and beat on high until smooth.
- Beat in butter, maple extract, and salt until smooth.
- Gradually mix in powdered sugar and milk. Beat on high until completely smooth.
- Preheat oven to 405°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Bake bacon for 25 minutes or until deeply golden brown and crispy.
- Allow bacon to cool completely. Place strips in a ziplock bag and hit bacon with rolling pin or hard object to create tiny crumbles.
- Top bacon on top of frosting OR make a maple syrup glaze first.
- To make a maple syrup sugar glaze, heat ¾ cup maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir with spatula continuously. Mixture should boil. Using a kitchen thermometer (for meat or candy), cook mixture to 360°F.
- Using a ½ tablespoon, spoon mixture in a circle over top of frosting. Immediatly sprinkle with bacon. NOTE: I only recommend doing a ½ batch of maple syrup cooking at a time as the liquid will start to harden. This step will need to be repeated with a clean saucepan, spatula, tbsp, and thermometer to repeat the process.
Nutritional information is only an estimate and it’s accuracy is not guaranteed to be exact.
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