As this time of year tends to elicit introspection, it occurs to me that nothing rekindles the excitement of the holiday season like having little ones to build traditions with. Now that mine are of age to not only assist in the kitchen, but to be eager about doing so (and, as importantly, to be competent at it), I find myself taking a great deal of cooking inspiration from them. This is never truer than right before Christmas, and always with particular regard to baking. From figuring out what treat to leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve, to settling on a recipe, to guiding tiny hands in executing said gastronomic marvel, this is one of the best times of the year for me as far as pulling delicious things from our oven.
While baking desserts has historically been neither my strong suit nor my passion, I came across a contest not long ago that I felt I needed to be a part of. Perhaps after reading this, you will too.
From now until December 23rd, Miss Jones Baking Co.’s Bake-it-Better Challenge is inviting entrants to put spatula to bowl and bake up a sweet treat using Miss Jones baking mix and/or frosting. There are many reasons to like this line of products, but chief among these for me, is that all of the mixes and frosting are certified organic, with no artificial colors or flavors, are non-GMO and plant-based, and made with responsibly sourced ingredients. Something else worth liking is that for each entry in their contest, Miss Jones Baking Co. will to donate $1.00 to the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank.
To enter, use the hashtag #betterwithmissjones on Instagram or Facebook, or get further contest details and information by swinging past their website at www.missjones.co/better. Here’s a chance to let creativity be your muse, though because we all sometimes have instances where our idea machines need a li’l kickstart, Miss Jones offers up piles of recipe inspiration online at https://www.missjones.co/.
As for what I came up with, it’s the holidays and what people seem to love doing more than anything at this time of year is to indulge. Bearing that in mind, I looked to create a cookie that wouldn’t just speak to that urge, but would throw its arms around it and kiss it full on the lips. Thus was born the following recipe, which I made using Miss Jones Baking Co. Sugar Cookie mix and Cinnamon Sugar frosting:
Bacon Bourbon Pistachio Cookies
- 5 tbsps dark brown sugar
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 4-5 strips of bacon (I chose hickory smoked, but use your favorite variety)
- 1/3 cup raw pistachio kernels, finely chopped
- 1 package Miss Jones Baking Co. Sugar Cookie Mix
- 1 can Miss Jones Baking Co. Cinnamon Sugar frosting
- Kentucky bourbon
- In a large bowl, combine brown sugar and ground cinnamon. Use this mixture to coat both sides of each bacon strip.
- Arrange bacon in a single layer on a baking rack and place this on a baking sheet whose surface is covered with parchment paper. Sprinkle any remaining sugar mix atop the slices. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until crisp. Set aside when cooked.
- Prepare Miss Jones Baking Co. Sugar Cookie Mix according to instructions. Mix chopped pistachios into the dough.
- Using a cookie scoop, divide dough into small portions and roll each into a ball. This should yield 12-14 dough balls.
- Arrange these on a cookie sheet and bake according to package instructions.
- Mix one tsp at a time of Kentucky Bourbon whisky into Cinnamon Sugar frosting. (I did this in small amounts of frosting, averaging about two tsps per 4 or 5 tbsps of frosting. If blending whisky into frosting leaves it too thin, refrigerate blended frosting for 5-10 minutes to firm it back up.
- Chop cooled candied bacon into small pieces (approximately 1/4-inch wide.)
- Spread cookies with spiked frosting and top with a sprinkling of candied bacon pieces. You can either serve them immediately or refrigerate them to for 30 minutes to further set the frosting.
This recipe first appeared on FlavorfulWorld.com.