Sunday, 7 July 2013

Banana, maple syrup, bacon & whisky cookies

I know the title of this post may send some people running away thinking I've gone completely barmy whilst others will be drooling over their keyboards in anticipation. How do I know this? I tweeted about this recipe last weekend after I baked the cookies and those are pretty much the responses I got, it seems there is no middle ground on this combination. You may be wondering why on Earth I have put bananas and bacon together, I admit it does sound like a strange combination. I first came across it in my copy of Heston Blumenthal At Home where there is a recipe for banana and bacon cookies. I took one look and thought "eurgh, what a weird idea!" but at the same time I was intrigued. This intrigue has stayed with me ever since I first read the recipe around 18 months ago although I've never actually made Heston's recipe, it calls for soft dried bananas which I don't really like. Instead I had a go at making banana pancakes earlier in the year to be served with maple syrup, I'm sure most of you will agree that's a good combination. I also like crispy smoky bacon with my maple drenched pancakes so also served it alongside the banana pancakes and I really liked it. I didn't really think any more about this combination until I had several ripe bananas in the fruit bowl, a little bit of bacon in the fridge and some maple syrups to review last weekend. That is when these cookies were born, I called them cookies because I baked them on a tray although they are very soft and more cake like in texture, at least that's what my boyfriend said and he thinks they should be called cakes. I added the whisky just for a bit of fun, I quite often make a sweet whisky glaze for the Christmas ham so it seemed like a logical next step to include it with bacon for the decoration. Unlike Heston's recipe where the bacon is baked into the cookies, I left the bacon as a final flourish and only used a small amount just in case the combination didn't work. After all, nobody wants to waste perfectly good bacon. Fortunately these cookies were a success which is why I'm sharing them with you.

 
Ingredients - makes about 16

For the cookies:
3 ripe bananas, mashed
80g light brown muscovado sugar
80g butter
1 large egg
2 tbsp Clarks vanilla flavour maple syrup - or maple syrup with a few drops of vanilla extract
1 tsp speculoos spice mix - or ground cinnamon
350g self raising flour

To decorate:
2 rashers smoked streaky bacon
100g icing sugar
4 tsp whisky

  • Preheat the oven to 180C and line 2 or 3 baking trays
  • Beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl until light and fluffy then beat in the egg followed by the bananas and maple syrup. Finally add the spices and the flour and stir until all the flour is mixed in. 
  • Dollop spoonfuls of dough onto lined baking trays and bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden and the cookies lift away easily from the tray. Cool on a wire rack.
  • Cut the bacon into small pieces and fry in a non-stick pan over a medium-high heat until crispy, take care not to burn the bacon. Remove from the pan and leave to cool on kitchen paper before crumbling into tiny pieces ready for sprinkling.
  • In a small bowl add the icing sugar then gradually pour in the whisky and stir until you get a smooth icing. Drizzle the icing over the cookies and then top with the bacon sprinkles.
When it came to serving these to my boyfriend I was a bit naughty and just told him that they were banana cookies as he can be quite wary of new combinations and I knew he wouldn't look closely at the sprinkles. It wasn't until he took a bite with bacon sprinkles on top that he realised what I'd done. He didn't like it and made me pick off all the pieces of bacon from the rest of his share, more bacon for me which is always a bonus. He did however really like the cookies and the whisky icing so that's good to know. As the bacon and whisky are only added at the end you could of course leave them out and just have lightly spiced banana and maple cookies instead. You may have noticed that there isn't masses of sugar in this recipe, this is because I wanted the natural sweetness of the bananas to stand out. Also the vanilla flavoured maple syrup is quite sweet which let me use less sugar.

I'm linking this recipe up with the Feel Good Food challenge as the ingredient this month is maple syrup and also with Credit Crunch Munch run by Helen and Camilla, this month hosted by Fishfingers For Tea as I used up my ripe bananas.

I'm also updating this post to link up with the Baking With Spirit challenge where the chosen booze is whisky.



7 comments:

  1. What an intriguing combination! I'm going to have to try these out out of sheer curiosity! :)

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  2. Yum! This combination sounds delish! Definitely adding this recipe to my to bake list!

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  3. Bacon, Whiskey and Maple Syrup - I'm sold! What a great experiment, thanks so much for linking up with Feel Good Food again! :-)

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  4. A very interesting combination. I'm sold on the maple syrup n bacon combination x

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  5. I'm definitely on the drool end of the spectrum

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  6. I did flinch when I first read this combination but now I've read about it I can see this would actually be rather yummy. Thank you for entering Credit Crunch Munch with this unusual recipe Jen:-)

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  7. This sounds like a good combination - I don't like bacon but I have heard enough to know it's a strange but enjoyable taste experience. I bet the cookies went down really well. Thanks for entering them into Baking With Spirit!

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Thank you for reading, please feel free to comment on any of my posts. I love to hear what you think! :)