Bacon Broccoli w/ Dijon Vinaigrette

Bacon BroccoliThere’s a reason to keep bacon on hand. It enlivens pretty much everything…Sundaes? Add bacon. Chocolate Chip Cookies? Add bacon. Kale, Broccoli, or any other good for you veggie? Oh yeah…definitely add the bacon.

Many of you have indicated you’re working towards incorporating more veggies into your diet, but that you can’t get past the idea you grew up with that veggies don’t taste that great. Inevitably, you reach for them last, not first, and they become the hurried afterthought, not the delicious dinner companion they could be.

Broccoli is a superfood that should be a mainstay in your weekly diet. It’s high in lutein (meaning it’s good for your eyes) and rich in antioxidants that may help prevent certain kinds of cancer.

We just think it tastes good- especially when paired with a little bacon, sundried tomato & shallots.. Not that we think you’ll have leftovers, but if you do, leftover bacon broccoli is perfect the next day in scrambled eggs. We often make extra large portions so that we can include vegetables in our breakfast the next morning. Any vegetable that works with scrambled eggs and cheese is a winner with the Kitchen Divas in Training.

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Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies- Carnivore Cookies- Aptly named by my dear husband, this fun cookie is sure to turn heads at your 4th of July Picnic. I was inspired in part by our family’s ‘special breakfast’ chocolate chip pancakes, and by Mo’s Milk Chocolate Bacon Bar from Vosges chocolate. If you’ve never tried their adventuresome chocolate combinations, splurge on one the next time you’re at the store. Snobby and expensive, yes. Startlingly amazing, yes. But, if you’re a dark chocolate lover, the whole milk chocolate thing just doesn’t cut it. Not for my tastebuds anyway. We use dark chocolate chips in our pancakes, and the flavor combination got me thinking- a pancake’s a lot like a cookie, why not add the bacon and get the dark chocolate/bacon combination in a cookie? What the heck- it’s only batter right?

What I discovered was that if you fry the bacon super crispy, and use a thin, very meaty cut, it adds an almost rice-like crunch to the cookies. Plus the extra salt really compliments the chocolate. These cookies won’t be to everyone’s taste. And, if you’re taking them someplace, you should probably note that they’re not vegetarian. Bacon is not exactly an ingredient you go looking for in a cookie. But, if you love dark chocolate, and you love bacon, then I’m pretty sure you’ll gobble up a batch of these like there’s no tomorrow!

* As a postscript, when I researched the Vosges link, I noticed that they’ve just come out with a dark chocolate bacon bar. Someone at that company’s been thinking! I’ll be going out tomorrow to look for it, taking a bacon chocolate chip cookie with me, of course!

 

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookie

makes about 30 cookies

Ingredients      

1 cup butter (2 sticks)

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2 eggs brought up to room temperature

1/2 cup Maple Syrup

1 cup sweet rice flour

1/2 cup sorghum flour

1/2 cup tapioca starch

1/4 cup potato starch (not potato flour)

2 tsp xanthan gum

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 cup crispy bacon pieces (about 1 lb of bacon prior to cooking)

1 1/2 -2 cups chocolate chips

Directions

Cook bacon strips over medium-low heat until very crispy (the key to crispy but not burned bacon is the lower heat). Set aside on a towel to drain.

Preheat oven to 375. Remove butter and egg from refrigerator. In a non-mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients and set aside.

Place butter in basin of stand mixer, or in a bowl if you’re using a hand mixer. Add sugar.     Turn stand mixer to medium and cream for about 3 minutes- until butter and sugar are thoroughly mixed together and have the consistency of a creamy paste. (If you’re using a hand mixer this may take a little longer)

Add the vanilla and 1 egg. Continue mixing until egg has been absorbed. Add the second egg. Continue mixing until egg has been absorbed. At this point, if it’s a hot day, the batter may look a little lumpy/watery. If this is happening to you, add a little bit of the flour mixture and mix until smooth. Then, add maple syrup by slowly pouring into the batter while still mixing. Once maple syrup has been incorporated, add the dry ingredients a little at a time until thoroughly mixed. Add bacon and chocolate chips.

With a melon baller, or two spoons, place on a parchment covered cookie sheet and flatten gently. Cook for 11 minutes or until nicely browned. These cookies will be soft, not crispy.