Well, now that I know I didn't win any ribbons in the Iowa State Fair for these next few recipes, I can share them with you guys!
Growing up, my grandma made loads of baked goodies for the Iowa State Fair. Her entire basement was covered in blue, red, white and purple ribbons. Her freezer was always full of the "rejects" and practice batches, and soon she became just the local bakery of the neighborhood. We would take 3-4 bags of cookies home with us every Sunday.
I love baking, and I'm always making her recipes for my friends and coworkers... So this year I bought 5 entries to the fair and decided to try my hand at some competition. Just to see if the Blue Ribbon winning gene was passed on...
Well................. I haven't won anything yet. But they at least let me in the doors!
So here's my first ever State Fair entry, Maple Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies.
I had made the cookies before and I was pretty happy with them, but I felt like it was missing something, so I added chocolate chips, because I love chocolate chips.
WELL GUESS WHAT?!?! They didn't like the chocolate. It overpowered the bacon. Honestly, I prefer a subtle bacon flavor in my dessert, so these were pretty delish to me.
I got there and immediately felt a sense of dread. I had just made some plain 'ol chocolate chip cookies... and people had made entire cheesecakes, pies, cake pops, ice cream sundaes... The list goes on and on. Everyone was vying for the $200 prize. I just wanted to bake with bacon.
Of course, as soon as my stone-faced judge was done with the cookies they put them right next to the fancy cheesecake. Clearly my little cookies had a little inferiority complex happening.
My little league bench warmer in the big leagues...
Anyway, they taste darn good, and they're a fun twist to an old favorite. So give them a shot.
Maple Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies
(makes 3 dozen)
3/4 cup butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 t vanilla extract
1/2 t maple extract
2 1/2 cup flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
3 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy (3 minutes)
Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each one
Add vanilla and maple extracts
Mix in the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt)
Add the chopped bacon and chocolate chips
Bake for 8 minutes at 350 degrees.
I even added a little sprinkle of sea salt to the top of the cookies to give the bacon flavor something to hold on to... But alas, no ribbon yet.
I have a few tricks up my sleeve for next time, so these cookies aren't going down without a fight. I get my scores back after the fair, so I'll let you know what they said.