This bacon fat peanut butter cookies recipe is, in and of itself, sufficient reason to never, ever discard your bacon drippings. It’s a brilliant and frugal use of kitchen scarps conjured by Emily Wight of the clever and reliable Well Fed, Flat Broke cookbook blog. It just sorta happened one day when she tweaked the classic peanut butter cookie recipe by Fannie Farmer to accommodate the closest thing she had to butter in the house. And wouldn’t you know, what resulted is even better than the original—at least to us. “The slightly smoky, porky taste of the fat makes peanut butter taste peanut-butterier,” says Wight of the tender cookies. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.–Renee Schettler Rossi

Two and a half bacon fat peanut butter cookies on two stacked green plates with a stack of cookies in the background.

Bacon Fat Peanut Butter Cookies

5 / 11 votes
These bacon fat peanut butter cookies are simultaneously frugal and indulgent when it comes to their reliance on bacon drippings in place of butter. And that’s saying nothing about the salty, smoky, sweetly lovely taste surprise.
David Leite
CourseDessert
CuisineAmerican
Servings24 cookies
Calories142 kcal
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time45 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup bacon fat
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • Granulated sugar, for sprinkling

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • In a large bowl with a stand mixer or an electric mixer on medium-high, beat the bacon fat, peanut butter, and sugar until it lightens in color and the texture becomes creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg and keep beating until completely incorporated.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  • Slowly add the flour to the peanut butter mixture, beating until all the ingredients are combined well. Roll the dough into balls about 1 inch (2 1/2 centimeters) in diameter. Place the cookie dough about 1 inch (2 1/2 centimeters) apart on a baking sheet and gently press the top of each cookie dough ball with a fork dipped in granulated sugar to make criss crosses.
  • Bake for 9 to 10 minutes, until barely browned around the edges. The cookies may look a little underdone and may appear slightly puffed and that’s okay.
  • Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes and then gently transfer the tender, delicate cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. [Editor's Note: Hah. As if you could resist the aroma of these little lovelies for that long!]
Well Fed, Flat Broke Cookbook

Adapted From

Well Fed, Flat Broke

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Nutrition

Serving: 1 cookieCalories: 142 kcalCarbohydrates: 16 gProtein: 2 gFat: 8 gSaturated Fat: 3 gMonounsaturated Fat: 4 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 12 mgSodium: 83 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 9 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Recipe © 2014 Emily Wight. Photo © 2014 Tracey Kusiewicz. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This recipe was fantastic. I loved the finished product but was a bit skeptical when making it. The dough for the cookie had a very crumbly texture. I had to press it together quite hard to form the cookies, but when I took them out of the oven and tasted them, I was so surprised at the flavor. The bacon fat wasn’t apparent until after I finished a whole cookie. The smoky, bacon flavor hit the back of my throat a few minutes after eating it. The cookie was a crowd favorite at a party I threw last night. Definitely recommend.

I used half chunky and half creamy peanut butter in the recipe. There weren’t too many nuts, and it wasn’t too creamy.

BACON! BACON + PEANUT BUTTER! What a glorious combination. A flavor explosion in my mouth. A marriage of two of my favorite categories of foods into my third favorite—baked goods. Peanut butter cookies have been a favorite of mine since childhood. My mother and grandmother both made delicious recipes—this recipe surpasses the old standard and modernizes it with a fun new twist.

I like the fork tine criss-cross, which keeps the cookie classic. I tasted the peanut butter in the first two or three chews and then got a big hit of the bacon. I was so amazed at the flavor combination that I couldn’t wait for the next bite, and the next…did this recipe really make 2 dozen? I may need to make another batch since I promised to share. I used crunchy natural peanut butter. The cookies were done when they had golden brown, slightly crisp edges. The cookies had great texture—chewy in the middle, crisp at the edges. People loved this treat.

I must confess that I made this peanut butter cookie recipe twice—once as written and once with chocolate chips. For the plain version, the taste is the same as you’d expect in a peanut butter cookie. The cookie has the right texture and is very mild. This is a standard peanut butter cookie recipe. Essentially, bacon fat replaces butter.

The chocolate chip version was very good. Both right out of the oven and several hours after cooling, the chocolate chips were still a bit melty. My family is partial to the combination of peanut butter and chocolate, so if you like chocolate, the chip are a good addition.




About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.


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20 Comments

  1. Help! I have a little less than 1/2 cup of bacon fat -what can I use to supplement? Vegetable oil? Thank you in advance – I have 2 very eager boys here awaiting your response. 🙂

    1. Kristen, we haven’t tried it with anything else, but I think you could substitute a different type of fat for some of the bacon fat. I’d be inclined to use regular butter, if you’ve got it on hand.

  2. Oh lordy, do you have my mind racing now!! I’m trying to think of other recipes to use bacon grease in!! Unfortunately, as a lot of you did, I did NOT grow up having anything like this whatsoever. As an adult foodie, I absolutely LOVE to try new, exciting recipes that I’ve never had before…the kitchen is my happy place! ? Thank you, and you definitely have a new, will-be long-time subscriber to your newsletter AND follower on Pinterest! Looking forward to MANY happy times! Oh, and btw, David, I simply ADORE your bubbly personality! ?