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Salty & Sweet Bacon Shortbread

Why not? Both bacon and shortbread are known for their fat contents – why not get the two together and see what comes of the pairing? Turns out, bacon and shortbread make a divine couple; the bacon is cooked until crisp, the fat drained and chilled, then beaten with the butter. Crumbled bacon is stirred in at the end, resulting in a salty-sweet cookie that melts in your mouth, around little bits of nubbly bacon. Is there a better cookie to make this holiday season?

To really go over the top, dip the shortbread wedges in melted chocolate, or drizzle it overtop. Package in cellophane bags or glass jars, tied with a ribbon, for those you really really like.

Bacon Shortbread

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup bacon drippings, chilled
1/2 cup icing sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3-4 slices bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled

Preheat oven to 325°F.

In a large bowl, beat the butter, bacon fat and icing sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and beat on low speed or stir until almost blended. Add the crumbled bacon and stir just until blended.

Divide the dough in half and press each into an 8″ or 9″ pan; score dough into 8 wedges and press around the outer edge with the tines of a fork.

Bake in middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden. Cool completely in the pans on a wire rack, and cut into wedges with a sharp knife. Makes 32 wedges.

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