This recipe was an expiration date away from not being created. I was invited to a cookie exchange on Sunday with elicit instructions to NOT bring a normal cookie. Originally I thought to make shortbread cookies with an eggnog glaze, unfortunately the day I went to make the cookies my prized Straus Family Creamery eggnog had expired. I also had procrastinated and decided to make these cookies at 9PM the day before the party so I had to use what was in the house. I’m so happy you all know now that I always have bacon and bourbon in my house.
I used Ina Garten’s foolproof shortbread recipe. Since my cookies were about a quarter of an inch thick (rather than half an inch thick) I shortened the baking time in her original recipe. The cookies have a healthy bourbon flavor so don’t be surprised if people accuse you of getting them buzzed.
Shortbread Cookies with Maple-Bourbon Glaze and Bacon Pecan Sprinkles
3/4 lb unstalted butter at room temperature
1 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/2 c flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/4 c confectioners sugar
1 tbs maple syrup
3 tbs bourbon
1 tsp milk
Bacon Pecan Sprinkles
3 slices of cooked bacon
1/2 c toasted pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Use an electric mixer at a medium-low setting to beat together the butter and sugar until combined. Once combined add vanilla.
Sift together flour and salt in a separate bowl then add to the butter and sugar mixture. On a low setting, mix until the dough comes together (this took a little longer than expected, about 2-3 minutes).
Dust counter or surface with flour and gather dough. Shape dough into a flat disk, cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
This is the perfect time to make your bacon and pecan sprinkles. Cook up your bacon if you haven’t already. I think it is best if the pecans are slightly toasted. To do so place your pecans on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. If you over toast your pecans toss them and start over again.
On a cutting board chop the bacon and pecans so that they are all a uniform size. Place your sprinkles in a fine sifter and shake out any of the small crumbs, set aside for later.
Take your dough out of the fridge, on a flour dusted surface, roll dough out 1/4-inch thick. Use a cookie cutter or simply cut dough into different shapes.
Place cookies onto a baking sheet at least half an inch apart from one another (I like to cover my baking sheet with parchment paper) and bake for 12-14 minutes.
While the cookies are baking make your glaze by sifting powdered sugar into a medium sized bowl. Using a whisk or a rubber spatula add the remaining ingredients one tablespoon at a time starting with the maple syrup, then milk, then bourbon. While you stir the glaze observe the consistency, the second your frosting becomes liquid and easy to stir it is perfect.
*If you added too much bourbon or liquids you can always balance it out with more sifted powdered sugar.
Once your cookies have cooled get ready to assemble them. I like to use a large cutting board as a work station for the glaze and sprinkles, and a couple of cookie sheets for my finished cookies.
Using a small rubber spatula, butter knife (or whatever you have on hand) add about one teaspoon of glaze to your cookie and immediately sprinkle with bacon and pecans. The glaze will take about 20 minutes to harden. Take on your next cookie, glaze, sprinkle and repeat!