I’ve noticed the bacon craze lately. Probably because I don’t live under a rock.
There’s bacon all over the place. It’s on maple donuts and cupcakes. I’ve seen bacon bubbles and bacon soap. There’s even a plush, talking bacon toy. If you don’t believe me and you have a ton of time to waste, just check it out.
For years, my brother Jeff has randomly issued the “bacon or chocolate” challenge: name a food… any food at all… which can not be improved with either bacon or chocolate. Go ahead. Take a reading break to think of something. If you think you’ve got something that’s NOT better for adding bacon or chocolate, comment. And then my brother will refute you. It’ll be fun!
Last week, I told you about my post-Christmas baking experience and my desire to create a bacon-licious cake mix cookie for Ian, my carnivorous child.
This week, I felt the “put up or shut up” decision pressing in on me….
If you’ve been reading for even 5 minutes, you know that I never choose Shut Up. That left me with Put Up.
Fortunately, you didn’t leave me without inspiration. Special thanks to AJ (your baconating adventures are mah-velous… chocolate chip cookies with bacon bits is my new favorite idea!) and Emily (so glad to have the link to a bacon pecan cookie recipe), which gave me excellent jumping-off points to create…
Bacon and Toffee Cake Mix Cookies
Here’s what you’ll need:
For those of you who are counting, that’s 7 items. More than double the number of items required for regular cake mix cookies. They are: yellow cake mix, corn muffin mix, eggs, oil, bacon, toffee bits and brown sugar.
Since I usually have two requirements for baking (easy + impressive), this was a little challenging for me. Definitely not my normal half-baked approach (ha!), but in the name of bacon and out of love for my meat-adoring child, I persevered.
Here’s what I did:
- Cut 6 slices of bacon into pieces. Why do you need a visual for this? I don’t know. But I got a little trigger happy with taking photos for this project, so please bear with me. I promise that I really do think you know how to cut bacon.
- Fry the bacon in a skillet over medium heat. Why medium heat? Probably because every single recipe that calls for frying stuff says to do it over medium heat. Truth be told, medium heat is way too slow for my patience level. I mean, do you see that bacon? It doesn’t look like it’s cooking AT ALL. I turned my heat up to medium high. I can’t recommend that you do that because no one ever suggests cooking things on medium high. But here’s what happens when you crank the heat up… I’m just saying.
- Drain the bacon grease into a measuring cup. That there’s 1/4 cup of bacon grease from 6 measly pieces of bacon. That’s terrifying. But DO NOT THROW THIS AWAY. You’ll be eating it later. Terrifying and delicious.
- Pull that bacon out of the pan and drain it on paper towels to get the excess grease off. No, not because I suddenly decided that the extra fat on these pieces was going to do you in (although I’m not saying it won’t), but because you’ll need to get the brown sugar to stick later and you don’t want the grease to get in your way. Do not fear. There is a method to my madness.
- Now dump that bacon back in the pan and add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Cook over medium heat. See how that works? Medium heat. The go-to heat. Fine. I couldn’t stand it. Here it is cooking on medium high. You want the sugar to really melt down into gooey glaze that coats the bacon. If it looks like there’s still sand in the pan, you haven’t cooked it enough.
- When you’re at Gooey Glazed Bacon, dump it all onto wax paper. Or, if you’re like me and you have only 1 inch of wax paper left on the roll, then foil works fine. Then separate all those little suckers into individual bits so they don’t set up in a clump. Now you have candied bacon. Candied bacon. Let’s pause for the reverence this deserves. OK, carry on. FYI, I caught a family member (who shall remain nameless due to the fact that my husband reads this blog) putting the empty wax paper carton back in the drawer later. Seriously? Seriously.
- I’m pooped. Creating candied bacon about did me in. That was more labor-intensive than any recent baking project. I had to decide… take a break or push on? Then I remembered how easy the rest of the recipe plan was, and I pushed on.
- Dump these ingredients into a bowl: yellow cake mix, corn bread mix, 3 eggs, and 2/3 cup TOTAL oil/grease combo. For the oil/grease item, take your measuring cup that already has the bacon grease in it… the one you DID NOT throw out… and top it off with vegetable oil ’til you hit the 2/3 cup mark. That’s your combo. Now mix together all your ingredients.
- Add toffee bits. I thought the whole package might be a bit much. Then I thought, Are you kidding? These are freaking BACON cookies. You passed “a bit much” way, way far back there. So I dumped ’em all in.
- Put these bad boys in 1″ balls on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 12 minutes. Don’t worry – the bacon part is still coming.
- As soon as you pull these out of the oven, while they’re still really squishy and warm, take a few of those candied bacon pieces and shove them into the top of the cookie thusly: I know thusly isn’t a word. I just want you to know that I know.
- I thought this picture was worthy of a Step #12: Mmmmm.
Now, I can’t in good conscience leave you with this terrible and delicious recipe.
Here’s a link to Weight Watchers. And here’s a link to the Couch to 5K running program. I’m a personal believer in both. When I’m running tomorrow, I’ll be thinking about these cookies. I won’t say regretting them. Life’s too short for regret. Besides, my motto is “will run for food.”
Or, if you’re not enamored with weight watching or with running, you can always take Ian’s approach. You remember Ian, right? The carnivore. The meat lover. The kid who committed only one crime in his life… stealing BBQ ribs from our daycare provider. The only kid I know who prefers a taco over a cookie. The kid who started this whole bacon cookie idea in the first place.
Well, he tried the cookies.
I watched him take his first bites. He said he liked them.
And then I found this, his cookie, abandoned and left behind.
Minus the bacon.
10 responses to “Bacon and Toffee Cake Mix Cookies”
[…] Maybe I’ll work on a cake mix cookie recipe that incorporates bacon. (UPDATED: I did. Here’s the link to Bacon and Toffee Cake Mix Cookies.) […]
Emily H. is my daughter. She sent me the link to your blog this morning. So glad she did! When her brother Jacob was a young teenager, he asked if he could invite all his guy friends over for his birthday. He wanted me to cook the bacon I had given him for his birthday. Yes, that was his present. The largest package I could find. As I look back, the weight of the bacon continues to increase in my memory, but I believe I had found a 15 pound package. It was huge. We have a long trestle table and the boys sat at that table most of the day playing cards, laughing and eating the bacon. I stood at the stove most the day frying the bacon. I occasionally stopped to push the pan back onto the burner and slide the strands of hair off my face and pat them into place on my head. Grease covered every available surface. My apron acted as a small umbrella around the space at my feet. I had to make sure I returned to the same place each time as it was the only place on the floor without grease. The group of boys slid out of the house late in the afternoon happy as they could be. We lived with the smell of bacon for days afterward, Jacob and his friends lived with numerous skin problems for just about the same amount of time.
I love Emily H! Good job raising that one, Sarah. And thanks for sharing this awesome bacon story. Jacob’s a lucky, lucky boy. Makes me think I should give up the traditional birthday party for Ian next year and throw him a Bacon Fest. Hmmm… food for thought.
Just started reading your blog last week (a friend recommended it) and I’m loving it! Five kids IS a lot of kids (I’ve got three myself), but I have to admit, you make it look fun&doable (so I guess there might be a fourth one in our future 😉
Laughed out loud when I read this last story (as I did with the one about the Christmas play, brilliant!), keep up the good work! Thumbs up all the way from The Netherlands 🙂
Thanks for the encouragement, Carina! Here’s fair warning about having a fourth child: sometimes Kid #4 comes with a twin brother. That’s what happened to us when we had “just one more.” 🙂
You’re right, though – it’s awfully fun. Sometimes heavy on the awfully. Sometimes heavy on the fun.
Happy New Year in the Netherlands!
“If you think you’ve got something that’s NOT better for adding bacon or chocolate, comment. And then my brother will refute you. It’ll be fun!” Raw oysters on the half shell. Key word? Raw. Oysters Rockefeller… bring on the bacon bits. But I prefer my oysters naked – just as God intended them. Refute away, Sonny Boy.
Look on the bright side – next time you could just stop after making the candied bacon. 🙂 (less work!) Candied bacon sounds like a great addition to pancakes or waffles!
My husband has a very similar saying, but his is bacon and cheese – everything is good with bacon or cheese. He says he would even eat cardboard with bacon or cheese on it! Yeah, I know……weird!
You can send your husband on over to my house, Susan. Cheese is a favorite here, and we eat the good stuff. We had a babysitter who couldn’t figure out what Cai (4) kept wanting to eat while we were away one evening. We came home and explained he’d been trying to say “manchego.” Hey – nothing like teaching your kids early to have high-falutin’ tastes, right? Something has to balance out those bacon cookies.
Ha! Kids. You’re a very good Mommy to make those for him. 🙂
And for your brother…how about: carrots? I think he might be right!