You guys: We can’t seem to shake the cold weather here in Salem, Mass. We had a few Spring teasers with temps in the 60s this week, and now we’re right back down to 13 degrees F tonight.
Which makes me want to…BAKE. It’s my favorite way to keep the cold weather at bay.
These shortbread cookies are super easy to make.
Like a traditional shortbread, they’re buttery but not too sweet. They go great with a strong cup of black tea—or a pint of stout.
For these cookies, I tossed some crispy bacon in, then laced the dough with maple syrup, since maple/bacon is a fav house flavor combo.
The results are magical!
This is a great way to use up leftover bacon, if there really ever is such a thing 😉
(Love maple/bacon as flavor combo, too? Try my Maple Whiskey Chicken. That’s this stuff here. Total stick-to-your-ribs maple bacon craziness.)
How to cut shortbread cookie dough
Honestly? Use any kind of cookie cutter you like. This is a pretty stiff dough that holds its shape relatively well.
If you don’t stand on ceremony, a juice glass or biscuit cutter works well, too.
You can also just roll the dough out and whack it up into rough squares with a sharp chef’s knife.
Not fancy at all, but I’d wager these won’t last long enough for people to complain about aesthetics.
Totally up to you.
Alrighty, to the ovens!
Maple Bacon Shortbread Cookies
1 stick of butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup maple syrup, preferably Grade B
1/8 cup white sugar
1 1/4 cup flour
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional, because of the bacon)
5-6 strips bacon, cooked crisp, cooled, then crumbled
Yields about 2 dozen cookies, depending on how you cut them
Do a little prep
Preheat your oven to 350-degrees F.
Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set them aside while you make the dough.
Make the shortbread dough
Put the butter, maple syrup, and white sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer (or in a large mixing bowl if mixing by hand).
Beat until well combined and uniform.
Toss in the flour, cornstarch, salt, and crumbled bacon.
The salt is your call. Some folks won’t want the extra sodium on top of the bacon. Some folks won’t mind. Up to you.
Beat until the ingredients just come together into a uniform dough.
Roll out the shortbread dough
Round the dough up on a piece of wax or parchment paper. Set another piece of wax or parchment paper on top.
Squash the dough down to flatten it, then roll it out with a rolling pin until it’s maybe 1/3-inch thick.
To make the cookies easier to cut, pop the dough into the fridge for 10 minutes if you like.
Cut the cookies
When you’re ready to cut your cookies, peel that top layer of wax or parchment paper off.
Set it aside. You’ll want it again when you have to re-roll the dough.
Cut out as many cookies as you can and place them on your lined sheet pans.
This time, I did maple leaves and star shapes.
These cookies don’t spread a lot in the oven, so you can put them closer together than you would with, say, chocolate chip drop cookies.
Just don’t let them touch.
When you’ve cut all the cookies you can, repeat the whole process until you’ve used up all your dough.
(Ball the dough up, top it with the wax or parchment paper, roll it out, remove the paper, cut more cookies.)
Bake your shortbread cookies
Pop the pans into your pre-heated, 350-degree F oven. Bake for 11-13 minutes, until just golden brown on the edges.
Cool your shortbread cookies
When your cookies are done, yank the pans out of the oven. Set them on a rack. Let the cookies cool on the pan for about 5 minutes.
Then, transfer them to the rack with a spatula to finish cooling completely.
Serve, inhale, enjoy!
That’s it! You just made some of the tastiest shortbread around, guaranteed to please almost any bacon lover.
What do you think?
Have you tried this recipe? Do you love maple and bacon together? Leave a comment below! Let us know!