Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

Brother:  Hey Kayla do you think we could make chocolate chip cookies and put bacon in them?

Me: Uhhh, yeah.  Definitely.

Brother:  Cool. 

Yep, that simple convo is how it started.  A little flicker of an idea in that big guy’s head and our baking adventure began.  I think this was the first time I’ve ever baked with my brother.  Sure we’d made dinner together a time or two when we both lived in California.  I’d come over to his house and we would work our way through our mom’s green chile chicken enchilada recipe, but baking?  Nope… that has always been my job.

His number one request is always chocolate chip cookies.  Always, always, and always.  I bet he could eat an entire batch in one sitting… but I think I could too so I’m not that impressed.

Of course, I have baked for him many, many times.  But he never makes much more than burnt popcorn for me.  Wah wahhh.   So naturally I figured his spark of bacon genius would leave me to do the “work” and he would be left with a very tasty reward.  Not that I mind making the cookies it’s just the fairness factor between siblings that is stuck in the back of my mind.  Example:

Brother: Hey Kayla can you get me some water?

Me:  Yeah, next time I get up from the same couch you are on and go to the kitchen I’ll get you one.

…. the next day

Me: Nick can you grab me a kleenex… they’re right there next to you.

Brother: (walks over to the couch) Did you want me to get you something?

This is just one example of a give and take imbalance in this relationship.

To my surprise he helped me out in the end.  I watched, very carefully and slightly controllingly (is that a word? Nope.), as he measured the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.  I may have hovered over his shoulder a little bit as he creamed the butter and sugar.  I definitely had to help him put the food processor on the right way.

But really, he helped a lot.  And I really enjoyed it.

Especially when he did the dishes. (what?!)

When the timer went off we were both anticipating what was to come.  Would they taste good?  Would it just be weird?  Too much bacon?  Or worse, not enough?

In the end, and after several taster cookies, I decided that they were perfect for my mouth buds.  I like the subtle salty, smoky flavor that sneaks up on your taste buds.  Since the bacon is ground into small pieces each bite is flecked with a few bacon-y gems.  Not overwhelming but noticeable.  I still feel like I’m eating a choco chip cookie, which was important to me.

I give a high five to the man with idea… Nick, you did well.

Now go to the gym…

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe adapted from nestle tollhouse

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I used Guittard)
  • 1/2 pound bacon, cooked

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat liner.
  2. In a food processor, grind bacon into small pieces about the size of a pebble.  Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In a large bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  5. One at a time add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture until fully incorporated, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  6. Pour flour mixture into butter mixture and stir until combined.
  7. Add chocolate chips and bacon stirring until fully incorporated.
  8. Using a small ice cream scoop or a large spoon drop about a tablespoon of dough onto the baking sheet.
  9. Place in the oven and bake until golden brown, about 9-10 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 3-5 minutes.  Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely.  Or eat one right away when its still warm!

*Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.  Have leftovers?  Freeze them!

Whole Wheat Honey Biscuits {and Gravy}


Sometimes you just need a little comfort.  A hug, a hold, a good word, and high five.

Sometimes comfort is in order because you just aren’t feeling optimal.

Sometimes comfort is needed because your heart is breaking… which definitely means its aching.

Sometimes you need a little comfort because you messed up at work and sent the wrong product to a dude in France.

Sometimes comfort comes in handy when you have to say goodbye… to a loved one, a pet, or your favorite t-shirt that has a big gaping hole in the arm pit (thats real life).

Sometimes you need comfort because the world seems so big and you seem quite insignificant in its core.

Sometimes comfort calms you down after being stuck in traffic for an hour (or 2)

And sometimes you just need a little comfort because its a Tuesday morning.

Tuesday morning comfort is the best!  Especially when accompanied by homemade biscuits and gravy.

Whole wheat honey biscuits al a Joy the Baker are a cinch to make.

Flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Irish butter.  Buttermilk and raw honey.

Butter gets cut into the dry ingredients.  Use your fingers!  The end result will be pieces about the size of nickels and peas.

Stir the honey into the buttermilk.  Pour over your butter/flour.  Then…

Mix!  But only until ingredients are just combined.  Over-mixing will make the biscuits tough… and no one wants a tough biscuit.

A little butter gets melted in a skillet.

Drop 1/4 cup of dough into your pan.  Joy used a cast iron skillet, I just used a nonstick pan.  Use what you’ve got!

You know what comes next.  Bake until the biscuits are golden brown on top and buttery in the middle.

These biscuits are true comfort.  Warm and buttery they lend themselves well to all sorts of biscuit situations.  Topped with grape jam? (yes please!).  Sandwiching a fried egg and a slice of bacon?  (why not?).  Stuffed with goat cheese (that’s Joy’s version..also yummy).  But what about topped with sausage gravy?

Uhhhh, I think Tuesday comfort requires gravy.  Right?

Yes, yes it does.

It also requires that I eat off of my grandma’s southwestern plate and scramble up an egg.

High five, hug it out, say something nice.  Comfort yourself… B&G style!

Whole Wheat Honey Biscuits

Recipe slightly adapted from the Joy the Baker Cookbook

Makes 8-10 biscuits

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 11/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup buttermilk, cold
  • 2 Tablespoons honey

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.   Place non-stick skillet or cast iron pan in the oven while it is preheating.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Using your fingers, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the flour resembles a course meal.  Butter will be in pea size and nickle size pieces.
  4. Make a well in the middle of the butter/flour mixture.  Mix together the buttermilk and honey.  The honey will not completely mix into the buttermilk but thats okay.
  5. Pour buttermilk and honey into the flour mixture.  Using a fork, stir together ingredients until just combined.
  6. Remove skillet from oven and melt about a tablespoon of butter in the pan.
  7. Scoop about 1/4 cup of dough into the pan.  Position biscuits about 1 inch apart from each other.
  8. Bake for about 14-16 minutes or until the tops of the biscuits are golden brown.
  9. Remove from oven and serve warm.

*Biscuits will keep for up to 3 days well wrapped and in an airtight container at room temperature.

Lime Curd

You guys!  Guess what?  I’m finished with college.  Yep, totally finished.

I was excited.  I gave myself a high five.  That was about it… slightly anti-climatic.

I wanted to eat like 5 cupcakes and relish in my accomplishment.  I want to travel the world for a little bit.  I want to bake a lot… with expensive chocolate.  I want win a bunch of money and just be set for a while.  Or maybe someone who really loves me a lot would just want to fund all of my travel/baking adventures… maybe take me on a shopping spree or two?

No?  Thats not gonna happen?  Shoot!

In the mean time, while the rain is pouring down and I’m avoiding sifting through job listings, lets talk about limes!  And curd!

I had a large bag of limes leftover after catering my friends wedding this past weekend so I decided to turn those green gems into something really tasty.

First limes get washed, zested, and juiced.  Time to pucker!

Next it’s time to separate eggs.  This curd uses two whole eggs and 4 yolks.  All those eggs  create a rich, smooth, creamy curd.

Butter and honey get satiny together and are whipped up before adding in the eggs and lime juice.

After a little heat, stirring, and lime zest your curd is finished!

Seriously, this curd is good.  I’m usually not a huge citrus fan but I really enjoyed this.  It has the perfect balance of tart and sweet.   Its smooth and creamy and literally melts in your mouth.

I just took another bite to be sure I was correctly describing this.  I was but I might need another bite just to be sure…

The yellow hue with dots of green zest make it perfect for spring.  Its like Easter in a jar.

Speaking of Easter, these little parfaits would be a perfect addition to an Easter brunch.

Really, they’d be a great addition to anything… breakfast, a lunchtime dessert, a healthy snack, or light after dinner sweet.  Layers of greek yogurt, lime curd, strawberries, and hazelnuts are a treat for both your eyes and your tummy.  Yes!

Lime Curd

Recipe from Cookie and Kate

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, soft and cut into small cubes
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 10-12 limes)
  • 1 Tbsp finely grated lime zest

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, cream butter and honey.
  2. Add egg slowly, beating until incorporated.
  3. Pour in lime juice and mix until combined.  Pour mixture into a non-reactive saucepan.
  4. Cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens, about 5-7 minutes.  Be sure to continue stirring through the whole process to avoid the eggs curdling or mixture sticking to the bottom of the pan.  Once the mixture is about at boiling point it will thicken quickly.
  5. Remove curd from heat and stir in lime zest.
  6. Pour into glass jar and let sit until completely cool.  Once cooled, screw on the lid and store in the refrigerator.  Makes about 2 cups.

Apple Pear Butter

I absolutely love fall in the Pacific Northwest.  Growing up in New Mexico, I never really got to experience the joys of fall.

Crisp, cool air.  Muted sunlight.  Trees colored with brilliant shades of orange, red, and yellow.

Of all the seasons, it’s definitely my fav.  It is so lovely yet there is something so melancholy about the autumn season that resonates with me.  A beauty that is unparalleled, yet fading so quickly.  Too quickly.

That seems to be true of so many things in life.  Intimate moments of connection with people.  Your absolute favorite dessert.  A sunset.  A delicious glass of wine.  A kiss.

All these beautiful moments, so lovely when they arrive but leaving us wanting more when they depart.  I can’t help but feel the desire for more radiant trees, more sunlight, more hot tea on a cool day once the rainy season set in.  And it is a long season.

I think God knew that we would need one last burst of color before the dreary, grey clouds made their way into the skyline.  Its his gift to us.

On another note, I’m totally into this apple pear butter right now.  It’s good.  So good that my boyfriend took 2 jars home with him.  He doesn’t even really like sweet stuff.

And it’s super simple to make!  It’s made in a crockpot so you basically put the ingredients in and let it sit for hours and hours until the apples, pears, cinnamon, and brown sugar turn into “butter.”  It’s kind of like apple sauce, but thicker and with a richer flavor.

Also, I didn’t can mine.  I didn’t have the time or desire to go through that process, but if you want to then go for it!  I’ll totally support that and give you a high five when you finish.

How should you eat this?

Out of the jar is a good start.  You could also…

Spread it on toast.  Stir it into your oatmeal.  Try it in a savory dish with pork or roasted chicken.  Swirl it into your ice cream and then top it with some roasted apples and granola.  Use it as an accompaniment on a cheese plate.  The possibilities are many.

Most importantly, enjoy its goodness.  And savor the tastes of fall.

Apple Pear Butter

Recipe from Martha Stewart

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds of anjou pear (about 5)
  • 2 1/2 pounds of gala apples (about 5)
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Directions
  1. Peel, then grate apples and pears.  (You can core them if you want first.  I didn’t and it helped because the core was like a little “handle” when I was grating them.)
  2. Transfer to a 5-6 quart slow cooker.
  3. Stir in brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon stick.
  4. Cook in high for about 4 hours.
  5. Remove cinnamon stick, but save it!  We’ll be using that again.
  6. Transfer mixture to a food processor and process until smooth.
  7. Return mixture and cinnamon stick to the slow cooker and continue cooking for another 4 hours, until mixture is thick and browned.
  8. Remove cinnamon stick and let mixture cool.
  9. Transfer to airtight containers, and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks, or freeze up to 3 months.