And here's a bacon-filled dessert you can make over the weekend, now that you've got some extra time. In Germany, these cookies are known as Speckkuchen, and, as James Villas, author of The Bacon Cookbook, says, rarely do you find a pastry shop in that country that doesn't have at least a small selection of them.
- Yield:about 30 cookies
- 4 slices German Speck or double-smoked slab bacon (rind removed), finely chopped
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, cut into pieces and softened
- 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk, beaten
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a skillet, fry the bacon over moderate heat until crisp; drain on paper towels, reserving the fat.
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, butter, the whole egg, cream, and pepper; beat with an electric mixer until the dough is well blended. Transfer to a floured surface, add the bacon, and knead until dough is soft and bacon evenly distributed, about 1 minute. Roll out dough into one or two logs about 1 1/2 inches thick, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill until firm, about 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a baking sheet with a little of the bacon fat, and set aside.
On a work surface, cut the log into 1/4-inch slices. Arrange slices about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet, brush with the beaten egg yolk, and bake until the cookies are browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool.