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    My Christmas Gift to You – Peanut Butter-Banana-Bacon-Bourbon-Chocolate Chip Goodness

    So occasionally (and by occasionally, I mean…well…almost daily), I like to make things with bacon.

    Those of you who know me know that bacon often makes its way into conversation with me. I like to serve it at dinner parties, coat it in chocolate, post recipes involving bacon. In short, I ♥ bacon. These may not be particularly Christmas-y, but as my gift to you, I give you my recipe for one of my favorite cookies.

    Elvis Cookies (a.k.a., Peanut Butter-Banana-Bacon-Chocolate-Chip Goodness)
    [adapted from peanut butter banana chocolate chip cookies]
    makes about 3 dozen cookies

    • 12 ounces bacon, chopped into 1/4 inch dice
    • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon hickory-smoked salt (I get mine from Trader Joe’s)
    • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted* and cooled
    • 1/2 cup bacon grease, chilled
    • 6 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter, melted* and cooled
    • 1 cup loosely packed brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
    • 2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla extract (I also get this from Trader Joe’s)
    • 2 teaspoons bourbon (good quality, please! I use Four Roses Yellow Label Bourbon.)
    • 2 ripe medium bananas, mashed
    • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (or dark chocolate chunks, coarsely chopped)
    • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips (such as Reese’s)

    Preheat oven to 375° F.

    Cook diced bacon in a large saute pan until bacon is golden and crisp. Remove the bacon pieces with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel-covered plate. Measure out a 1/2 cup bacon fat and chill until it congeals and is set. If you don’t keep jars of bacon fat in your refrigerator (and if you do not, I ask you, why don’t you?), you may need to make additional bacon to get a 1/2 cup of rendered fat – but you can never have too much bacon, right?

    Mix the flour, salt and baking soda in a bowl and set aside. In another large bowl, whisk together cooled peanut butter, butter, brown sugar, bacon grease, and granulated sugar. Whisk in egg yolk, bourbon and vanilla extract until smooth. Add in the mashed banana and mix until combined (mixture will not be smooth). Gradually add in the dry ingredients, mixing with a large spoon until a dough forms. Fold in chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and bacon.

    Drop by rounded teaspoons-full onto parchment-lined baking sheets at least 2-inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are golden and the middles are puffy – be careful not to overbake! Let cool completely (or risk scalding the roof of your mouth, which is likely since these will smell A-MA-ZING and you will want to eat them right away). Cookies will be slightly cake-like – very moist and soft, because of the banana and peanut butter. Store completely cooled cookies (f there are any left) in a sealed container or bag.

    ENJOY!

    *HINT: Melt the butter and peanut butter together in a double boiler or in a bowl in a saucepan of water. Be vigilant and use a very low power setting if you use the microwave, as the peanut butter may scorch.

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