Forgive me while I reach for the nearest credenza because these bacon fat gingersnaps have caused me to go weak in the knees. (Ok, so maybe I exaggerate, but they are freakingly damn good.)

Between us, I wasn’t in the mood to bake that afternoon. It was a gorgeous day, and the last thing I wanted to do was heat up the kitchen. But at the urgings of The One, I did. Smart move.

The dough literally comes together in minutes—that is, if you have bacon fat on hand, which I didn’t.

In my case, it took an additional 20 minutes or so to fry up enough bacon to get the requisite 3/4 cup of bacon fat. (That was just over 1 pound of bacon. What a hardship to have to eat bacon. The things I do for your sake, dear readers.)

I refrigerated the dough for 12 hours just because I was up to my eyeballs in Friday errands. Saturday afternoon, I rolled and dipped the cookies. I flattened them with the bottom of a drinking glass as I wanted the cookies to have a smooth rather than crinkled top.

When I pulled them out of the oven, The One was just coming up form the basement. “It smells like fall!” he shouted and headed for the rack of cooling cookies. He didn’t say anything. Well, he couldn’t say anything (his mouth was so full) until after his third cookie. Then he managed to utter, “Love ’em!”

Sadly, I only had a nibble. What a bitch of a time to cut sugar from my diet.

A few tips that I think may help when you make these marvelous gems:

  • Choose your bacon carefully. Some cheapo store brands are loaded with salt, which will make the cookies inedible. I used what I believe is an easily available brand for most of you: COSTCO’s Kirkland bacon.
  • Taste the bacon fat before adding it to the dough. I know, I know, gross. But hear me out: If the fat is really salty, then add less than the full amount of salt to the recipe. Or add none. My bacon fat was just mildly salty so I added just 1 teaspoon salt instead of the full 1 1/2 teaspoons.
  • My cookies had a mildly smoky flavor. If you want a more pronounced smokiness, make sure you buy heavily smoked bacon. Or, ahem, make your own bacon.

Chocolate Bacon Fat-Crystallized Gingersnaps Variation

To make bacon fat gingersnaps gilded with chocolate chunks and crystallized ginger, follow the recipe above and stir in 2/3 cup chopped chocolate or mini chocolate chips and 1/2 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger. (Okay, fine, you can add more or less than these amounts to suit your taste.) We found that these add-ins tend to work better with slightly larger cookies (1 ounces or 28 grams). If making the larger cookies, you’ll need to bake them a little longer, figure 12 to 14 minutes.

Three stacks of gingersnaps, one broken cookie, and a glass bottle of milk

Bacon Fat Gingersnaps

4.43 / 7 votes
Bacon fat gingersnaps. Because everything is better with bacon. Even ginger cookies.
David Leite
CourseDessert
CuisineAmerican
Servings42 cookies
Calories84 kcal
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time45 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 3/4 cup bacon drippings (from 1 to 2 pounds bacon), at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for the work surface
  • 1/4 cup molasses (not blackstrap) or cane syrup
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 to 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (See “David Says” below)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions 

Make the dough

  • Toss all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the ingredients clump together and a dough forms. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least a few hours and up to 2 days.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Shape and bake the cookies

  • Place about 1/4 cup sugar in a shallow bowl. Break off 1-tablespoon chunks of cookie dough (about 17 g) and roll them into balls. Drop them into the sugar, roll to completely coat the dough in sugar, and place them on the baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart. If you prefer crisp cookies, gently flatten the dough; if you prefer chewy cookies, don’t mess with the dough any more.
  • Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, until dark brown. Let cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. (We usually include storage advice here, but honestly, they didn’t last long enough for us to be able to say how well they keep.)

Video

Cook Fight Cookbook

Adapted From

CookFight

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Nutrition

Serving: 1 cookieCalories: 84 kcalCarbohydrates: 11 gProtein: 1 gFat: 4 gSaturated Fat: 2 gMonounsaturated Fat: 2 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 8 mgSodium: 116 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 6 g

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

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2012 Kim Severson | Julia Moskin. Photo © 2012 David Leite. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I admit I’m not a gingersnap kind of girl. For me, there are better cookies just waiting to be eaten. Until now. These bacon fat gingersnaps were some of the best damn cookies I’ve ever had, gingersnap or not. Don’t let the bacon drippings scare you; they just add a slightly smoky and salty bite to an incredibly luscious cookie. I took them to a friend’s house tonight. His response, after he ate one bite, was “Good God, these are the best things I’ve ever eaten.” In light of my new love of gingersnaps, I’ve become a bacon-fat hoarder. I never know when the urge might strike. Soo-ee, here pig, pig, pig.

These bacon fat gingersnaps are some of the best snaps we’ve ever enjoyed. They’re easy to make, although I’d add the dry ingredients to the food processor before adding the bacon fat and molasses. It’s fun to ask your friends what they think the secret ingredient is in the cookie. They’ll be amazed, then ask for another cookie. Plus, your dog will love you more than ever.

I’ve never been much of a baker, but these bacon fat gingersnaps are extremely easy to make and have that gingery “bite” I love. Amazingly, none of us could taste the bacon fat, yet it worked amazingly well. I did use all-purpose gluten-free flour but I didn’t change any of the measurements in the recipe. They spread quite a bit, yet they were still a tad gooey in the middle. Yummm! If I had to choose between the aroma during baking and the taste while devouring them, I’m not certain which was better; all I know is that the cookies didn’t last long in this household.




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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Recipe Rating




48 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I was searching for new Christmas cookies to make and came across these on the site. After reading the first review, I felt I had to try them since I am not usually a gingersnapper either. Honestly, they are so good, it’s ridiculous. You get just a hint of that savory smokiness from the bacon, but then chewy, gingery sweetness. Everyone I shared them with LOVED them. Simple and quick to make too. Not just a Christmas cookie anymore!

  2. 5 stars
    I came across these while looking for cookie recipes for my lactose-intolerant daughter-in-law. Good grief, these are just wonderful—crisp with a tiny savory undertone. Amazingly good and versatile, too—I’ve made them with maple syrup when I ran out of molasses and they worked well, too. The dough freezes well, so there is no excuse to every be cookie deprived again.

    1. Lisa, love your resourcefulness! And yes, bacon fat in gingersnaps is sorta ridiculously lovely, yes?! As an aside, have you tried our dairy-free bacon fat peanut butter cookies?! And as an even further aside, a reader just commented that she substituted coconut milk (watered down a little) for the milk in our bolognese sauce to magnificent effect! For what it’s worth, if you haven’t already tried that trick. Wishing you and yours a lovely New Year!

  3. I’m thinking of making these tomorrow for a cookie exchange with my friends. Have you ever rolled the dough in a smoked sugar?

    1. Bebe, no I haven’t, but that would be killer…as long as the bacon fat isn’t too smokey itself.