Cook the Book: Bacon Fat Spice Cookies

Cook the Book: Bacon Fat Spice Cookies

Book CoverThese cookies need no introduction—their name says it all: bacon, fat, and spice. Yum. Jennifer McLagan, author of Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes, was " the idea of using bacon fat rather than butter" in an updated version of traditional Northern European spice cookies. The results are "like a glazed ham in cookie form."

For this recipe you will need a half cup of bacon fat. Start with a pound of bacon, and if after cooking it you don't have quite enough, make up the difference with a bit of lard. Alternatively, plan in advance and begin collecting your breakfast bacon fat in the freezer. Depending on how often you eat bacon, you should have enough for your cookies within a few weeks.

  • Yield:20 to 24 cookies


  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup bacon fat (from about 1 pound bacon)
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 egg


  1. 1.

    Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lin 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. 2.

    Combine the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, the salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves in a food processor and pulse to mix. Add the bacon fat, molasses, and egg and pulse until the mixture forms a soft dough.

  3. 3.

    Take level tablespoons of the dough and roll them into balls. Place the balls on prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Using a fork, flatten the balls slightly, and sprinkle them with the remaining tablespoon of sugar.

  4. 4.

    Bake the cookies until they are beginning to brown around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool slightly on the baking sheets and then transfer to a wire rack.

  5. 5.

    Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 1 week.