Are you looking for a delicious and unique twist on traditional chocolate chip cookies? Look no further than this recipe for bacon chocolate chip cookies!
These cookies are the perfect combination of sweet and savory, with a chewy oatmeal chocolate chip cookie base mixed with cereal brittle and sweet, savory, and crispy bacon pieces.
I got the inspiration for these cookies from a local farmer’s market. One of the occasional vendors there sells chocolate chip cookies with bourbon bacon bits in them. I definitely make a beeline for her booth whenever she is there in the hopes of snagging some before she sells out. The smoky taste of the bacon with a kick of spice gives a different flavor profile to a chocolate chip cookie.
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Then I saw Joy the Baker’s recipe for Cowboy Cookies. Cowboy cookies are chocolate chip cookies made with oats, coconut, and nuts. Joy’s recipe is a mashup of chocolate chips, oatmeal, coconut, and cornflake brittle, plus pecans. I was itching for an occasion to bake these cookies. A Super Bowl party turned out to be the perfect excuse to try them. But I remembered those bacon chocolate chip cookies and thought, why not combine the best of all worlds and create a recipe for bacon chocolate chip cookies?
Brittle Makes Them Better
Joy the Baker’s recipe calls for salting the cornflake brittle. I decided to omit the salt in that step since the bacon has a salty flavor. Since my grocery store was out of pecans, I skipped those as well. But you can add one cup of chopped pecans or peanuts into the brittle when you add in the cornflakes.
One tip when making the cornflake brittle is to spread the mixture in as thin a layer as possible on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Otherwise, the brittle turns out very thick and is hard to break into small bits to add to the cookie dough. Also, try to use bits that have cornflakes in them instead of just the sugar, as the brittle melts when the cookies are baked. This can cause the cookies to spread a little unevenly. They still taste delicious, but won’t be as rounded.
Cayenne Candied Bacon, Because Everything is Better with Bacon
To make the candied bacon, I wanted something slightly sweet and spicy. So I baked some thick sliced bacon on a large baking sheet with a coating of brown sugar, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. It takes about 22 minutes to bake bacon. This method is amazingly neat, as the bacon does not splatter like it does when you fry it in a pan. (It has something to do with the air temperature of the oven being evenly distributed, as opposed to the hot grease meeting the cool room temperature air in a frying pan on the stovetop.) I didn’t have an oven-safe wire rack to put on the baking sheet. (Most cooling racks have a coating that is not meant to be put in an oven.) But that wasn’t a problem, as I drained the bacon on paper towels after removing them from the oven.
[Update: I found cooling racks that can go in the oven. King Arthur Baking makes a set of two cooling racks that are oven-safe up to 450 degrees F.]
After the bacon cools for a few minutes, it can be easily chopped. I chose not to use the bacon fat in the cookies, as I wanted the crispier parts.
Customize Your Cookies
The great part about this cookie dough is that you can add or subtract whichever mix-ins you like. If you are not a fan of coconut, just leave that out. If you prefer white chocolate chips, substitute those for some or all of the chocolate chips.
Once the dough is mixed, use a medium cookie scoop (1.5 to 2 tablespoons) to portion out the dough onto a baking sheet, and bake the cookies at 350 degrees F until golden brown and crispy on the edges, about 11 minutes.
Freezing the Dough to Bake Later
If you are like me, you will want to make a double batch of the dough so that you can portion out some to freeze. (Plus, one package of bacon makes enough for a double batch of these cookies. So you have the perfect excuse to do this so you don’t waste any bacon!)
This is one of my favorite “secrets” when making cookies. If you use a cookie scoop to portion the dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, you can then pop the pan into the freezer for about 10 minutes to set the dough. Then put the balls of dough into a zippered freezer bag. Store them in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Then, whenever you want freshly baked cookies, just put the frozen dough balls on a parchment sheet into the air fryer. (I have an air fryer lid that works with my 6 quart Instant Pot, but now they make the Instant Pot Duo Crisp that comes with a lid that air fries.) Air fry them at 350 degrees F. for about 5 minutes. Then use the bottom of a drinking glass to flatten them slightly. Continue to air fry for another 2 minutes. Allow them to cool for a few minutes so that they can set before eating.
Or, you can bake the frozen dough balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet in an oven at 350 degrees for 2 minutes. Then use a drinking glass to slightly flatten them. Bake for an additional 11 minutes until the edges are golden brown.
Storing the Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies
Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
These cookies are perfect for a special occasion or just a fun twist on a classic treat. Serve them up at your next barbecue or picnic and watch them disappear in no time!
Enjoy this delicious recipe for bacon cowboy chocolate chip cookies!
Looking for a simpler cookie to please a crowd? Try my peanut butter M&M cookies.
Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies
- 1 stand mixer or electric mixer
- 2 or more baking sheets lined with parchment
- 1 rubber spatula
- ½ pkg bacon
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
Corn Flake Brittle (Optional)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cups Corn Flake cereal
- sea salt optional
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ¾ tsp Kosher salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 ½ cups quick cooking oats
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature 2 sticks
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 6-8 ounces large chocolate chips or chocolate chunks plus more for garnish
- 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
- Preheat oven to 375℉. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil to make cleanup easier. Place an oven-safe wire rack on the sheet (optional)
- Lay the bacon strips in a single layer on top of the foil (or rack, if using).½ pkg bacon
- In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, black pepper and cayenne pepper.3 tablespoons light brown sugar, ¼ tsp ground black pepper, ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
- Sprinkle the sugar mixture on top of the bacon.
- Bake at 375℉ for 22-25 minutes, or until bacon is crispy. Remove from oven. Use tongs to transfer bacon to paper towels to absorb grease.
- Once totally cool (about 5 minutes) chop bacon into small bits. Discard any large pieces of fat.
Corn Flake Brittle (Optional)
- Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
- Heat 1 cup of granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook it without stirring until it turns to a liquid, about 4-7 minutes. Swirl the saucepan over the heat to gently combine the sugar. Continue heating it until the liquid is a dark brown caramel color.1 cup granulated sugar
- Remove the saucepan from the heat. Immediately stir in the cornflakes gently.¾ cups Corn Flake cereal
- Quickly spread the cornflake brittle in a thin layer on the prepared baking sheet. Use a spatula to spread it out as thinly as possible. Sprinkle with sea salt, if desired. Put the baking sheet into the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to cool while you make the cookie dough.sea salt
Cowboy Cookie Dough
- Whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and quick cooking oats in a medium bowl. Set aside.2 cups all purpose flour, ¾ tsp Kosher salt, 1 tsp baking soda, ½ tsp ground cinnamon, 1 ½ cups quick cooking oats
- In a stand mixer bowl, cream together the butter and sugars using a paddle attachment for 3 to 5 minutes, until pale and fluffy. Or, use a large mixing bowl and an electric mixer.1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, 1 cup light brown sugar, packed, ¼ cup granulated sugar
- Add one egg and beat for 1 minute at medium speed. Then add the other egg and beat for another minute.2 large eggs
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla extract and beat on low spped until incorporated.1 tsp vanilla extract
- Add the oat mixture to the butter mixture and beat on low speed just until incorporated.
- Add in the chocolate chips and coconut flakes.6-8 ounces large chocolate chips or chocolate chunks, 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
- Put the chilled cornflake brittle into a zippered bag. Use a kitchen mallet or rolling pin to break the britle into small chunks.
- Add the cornflake brittle and chopped bacon into the cookie dough. Combine at low speed until incorporated.
- Put the bowl of cookie dough in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350℉.
- Use a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop to portion the dough into balls. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Press a few more chocolate chips into the top of each and press the dough down with palm of your hand to slightly flatten the dough ball.
- (If you wish to freeze the dough, put the baking sheet with the dough balls into the freezer for 10 minutes to set. Then transfer the dough balls to a zippered freezer bag. Store in the freezer for up to 2 months, until ready to use.)
- Bake at 350℉ for 11-13 minutes until golden around the edges. Cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack using a spatula.
- Store cooled cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- If you are baking frozen cookie dough balls in an oven, bake them for 2 minutes at 350℉. Remove baking sheet from oven and gently press dough balls with the bottom of a drinking glass to slightly flatten. Then bake for an additional 11 minutes. Cool as above.
- You can also bake frozen dough balls in an air fryer. Put on a parchment lined pan and air fry at 350℉ for 2 minutes. Press down gently with the bottom of a drinking glass. then air fry for another 5 minutes. Cool as above.
- You can customize this recipe by adding 1 cup of chopped pecans to either the brittle at the same time you add in the cornflakes, or to the cookie dough when you add in the chocolate chips and coconut.
- The bacon and cornflake brittle are optional. If you are omitting the bacon, sprinkle sea salt on top of the cookie dough balls right before baking.
- If you are freezing the dough balls, label the outside of the zippered freezer bag with the baking directions.
- If your butter is not at room temperature, heat it in the microwave at 30% power for 30 seconds at a time until it is slightly soft, but not melted.
- This recipe is easily doubled if you want to bake a batch now, and make a second batch to freeze and bake at a later time.