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Friday, February 28, 2014

MILK CHOCOLATE MAPLE BACON COOKIES

Serving on the Chase Family Foundation Fundraising committee has been an absolutely wonderful experience for me!!
When Susan called to ask if I would be on it, I immediately said "YES" - then I thought to ask what exactly would be involved.
An amazing, hardworking, huge hearted group of people have met for the past couple of months, to pull together the "Chase The Blues Away" fundraiser - a Mardi Gras themed event that benefits the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank.
I have loved being involved in helping to organize this fabulous community event, our weekly meetings have been filled with business items and great ideas, but also great conversation, cheers, and a few tears.
It has been so good for me to step outside of my comfort zone - to ask people to donate - and I must admit a little surprising, and so humbling when people have been so willing to give - this is an amazing area and community and cause.
Our final meeting before Chase The Blues Away (Tuesday, March 4th at the Springdale Country Club) was held last week, thanks to Susans generosity and thoughtfulness, we all took gifts home with us, and knowing that, although Susan doesn't care for dessert, she loves bacon, and a certain maple bacon ice-cream combination, I made a batch of these Milk Chocolate Maple Bacon Cookies for her to enjoy.

MILK CHOCOLATE MAPLE BACON COOKIES


1 pound maple bacon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon maple extract
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
1 (11 1/2 ounce) milk chocolate chips

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until well browned and crispy. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain and cool. Reserve the bacon drippings in the skillet. Once the bacon has cooled, crumble or chop into small chunks. Set aside.
Heat the oven to 375F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to be a together the butter, 1/2 cup of the reserved bacon drippings, brown sugar, sugar, baking soda, salt and maple extract, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating and scraping the bowl after each addition.
Mix in the flour, then the chocolate chips and crumbled bacon.
Scoop the cookies onto the prepared baking sheets in 1 tablespoon mounds. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden around the edges.
Allow to cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from The Arkansas Democrat Gazette, February 2014
www.arkansasonline.com/news/features/food/‎

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