Bakin' Bacon Cookies
Making that delicious Schmidt’s bacon the other evening resulted in a lovely amount of liquid gold, a.k.a. Schmidt’s Bacon Drippings! This may not appeal to everyone, but when times were tough, people made do with what they had. Surely they would not have wasted this precious gift from the bacon?
I did a little research in an inherited cookbook, The American Woman’s Cook Book from the Culinary Arts Institute, copyrighted 1938. (Belonged to BHE’s Great-Aunt Aggie—I love it!) Ruth Berolzheimer edited the book, and regarding my question she wrote: “Lard and meat drippings for shortening and cooking date from the time when all fats were prepared at home.” Her thought was that bacon fat was too highly seasoned for any but limited use… and that is where I stopped her. With the ongoing fascination for flavoring everything with bacon, this liquid gold is going places in my kitchen!
Several years ago, I came across a recipe for Molasses Cookies that used bacon fat in place of butter. I have tried in vain to relocate that recipe-- future blog: organizing my recipes!-- and so instead did a little googling, and came up with this:
BACON GREASE COOKIES
Ingredients : 1 c. bacon grease or lard 1 c. sugar 1 egg, beaten 4 tbsp. molasses 2 c. flour 1 tsp. salt 2 tsp. soda 1/2 tsp. ginger 1/2 tsp. cloves 1 tsp. cinnamon
Preparation : Sift dry ingredients together. Stir in bacon grease and egg. Roll in balls. Roll balls in sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
My kitchen smells amazing right now! Two of my kiddos just tried them... "These taste like bacon!" exclaimed Baby Girl. "This is kinda weird..." Son One (13), "I think I like them better with butter." Say what they will, I think I have hit upon something here. Kinda crazy, but I'm bakin' Bacon cookies! (The dog is confused... It smells like bacon, but there is no bacon treat for him?)
Melinda and Jess, upon hearing about my endeavor, volunteered to be tasters-- Thanks gals! ;-) Both of them agreed that the molasses made for a better cookie. (Good thing I remembered to put it in... eventually!) Jess commented that the molasses and the bacon flavors were well-balanced. Melinda has decided to put their Saturday morning bacon drippings to good use, too!
I love and respect the resourcefulness of those who came up with this recipe. They inspire me to be more resourceful. Who knew they would be such "green trendsetters," those Depression-Era survivors?