For our first recipe, we've chosen our favourite Czech dark lager, Herold Tmavy and created a cookie recipe that compliments the unique sweet, caramel character of this beer we love. After some sampling and brainstorming, we thought the salty sweetness of maple candied bacon in a crumbly sugar cookie would be a perfect fit. We also thought that the crunch of pecans would be a nice contrast with the smoothness of a dark lager.
We'll let you be the judge, but we were very pleased with this combo as a dessert; the lager’s malty caramel taste with a crisp finish paired with the maple flavour and pecan crunch was perfect. These cookies also had a nice biscuit-like texture, which was also well suited to this dark lager.
Note: We made this recipe using the American systems of cups and teaspoons. We’ve included metric conversions. Because the brown sugar that we used is more like white granulated sugar in texture, we counted it as such, instead of packed brown sugar (which is hard to find the Czech Republic).
Also, for bakers in the Czech Republic, ingredients like maple syrup can be found at DM for a good price. Be sure to use English style bacon, Czech bacon won’t do. We used thin and crispy smoked back bacon from Marks and Spencer.
- 250 g. bacon (about 10 slices)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup (120 ml.)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar (50 g.)
- 1 cup pecans (150 g.)
- 1/2 tsp salt (2.5 grams)
- 3/4 tsp baking powder (3.75 g.)
- 3 cups all purpose flour (384 g.)
- 1 1/4 cups chilled butter cut into small pieces (284 g.)
- 3/4 cup brown sugar (150 g.)
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
We've divided this recipe into 3 parts. Make the candied bacon first, the roasted pecans second, and your dough last. Of course first make sure you have a few bottles of Herold's Dark Lager!
- In a small dish, mix together maple syrup and brown sugar. Mix vigorously, till brown sugar is well incorporated.
- Line two baking sheets with a few sheets of aluminium foil. You want to be pretty thorough in coating the bottom of your pan with a few layers of foil, this gets pretty messy.
- Spread out each slice of bacon on the foil. Using a pastry brush, coat each piece of bacon generously with maple brown sugar. Flip bacon using a fork or tongs and coat the other side. About half of the mixture will be leftover. Save it for later, you’ll use it in the dough.
- Put trays of bacon into a cold oven. Turn your oven onto 176 c. or 350 f.
- Be careful, candied bacon cooks very quickly! Check after 10 minutes. You want your bacon to be nicely crisp, but not black. Let cool.
- Once bacon has cooled, chop with a knife. Due to the sugar and maple syrup, this is quite sticky work.
- Toast pecans on the broil setting of your oven until slightly darker and fragrant. Again be careful to not over toast.
- After pecans have cooled, chop them into bite size pieces either with a knife or in a food processor.
- In a large bowl, whisk together baking powder, salt, and flour.
- Cut pieces of butter into the bowl of a stand mixer while it's on low speed. Let mix on low until butter becomes softer and more pliable.
- With the mixer running, gradually add sugar. Increase the speed to medium once the sugar is completely incorporated to get the butter light and fluffy.
- Add vanilla, whole egg, and yolk until just combined.
- With the mixer running on low, add the leftover maple syrup and brown sugar mixture from the bacon candy.
- Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients gradually while mixing on low speed.
- After dry ingredients are fully incorporated gently fold in chopped pecans and bacon candy, being careful to not over mix.
- Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours and maximally 24.
- Preheat oven to 176 c. or 350 f.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or ideally use a silicon baking matt.
- These cookies do not spread much. Using two spoons, gently form balls. Use your hands to help compact them, but not too much....you don't want a densely packed ball, but a firmly moulded ball.
- Place on baking sheet about 3 inches apart.
- Bake cookies for about 10-15 minutes. Watch closely, because depending on your oven, they can bake fast. Ideally they're done when the tops just start to brown. They should be cooked thoroughly when you take them out of the oven, but no part of the cookie should be dark brown.
- Open a Herold Tmavy, and enjoy with a few freshly baked cookies!