Thursday, December 3, 2009

Swedish Ginger Cookies... a.k.a. bacon fat cookies!

When I first read a wonderful article in an older issue of Martha Stewart's magazine about Christmas Cookie memories I was intrigued by the use of the strange ingredient of bacon fat. The writer ( sorry, I tore out the recipe, throwing away the author's name) tells of her mother who saved up all the bacon fat to use for her Christmas baking. She went on to say " The recipe for ginger cookies came, I knew, from a neighbor down the street, a woman of Swedish descent, who perhaps learned to use bacon fat during the war when butter was scarce." It makes sense actually. I mean lard is pig fat, after all and is used in many recipes, especially in pie crusts.( I recently met a woman who insisted she makes the best pie crust with only 3 ingredients, flour, lard and sour milk !!)
So I decided to give this recipe a try and I have to say the cookies came out wonderfully crisp on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. And they look so pretty!!, I didn't taste the bacon fat in them!
I didn't stash away any bacon fat in the fridge so I bought a 12 oz. package ( actually didn't realize it wasn't a full pound. I cut the recipe in half ( ever try to divide one egg in half?..a little tricky!)
Fry up the bacon pressing to extract as much fat as possible. Scoop out the fat to make 1/4 cup. What you do with the leftover bacon is entirely up to you !!

In standing mixer, cream bacon fat and sugar. Then beat in molasses and egg ( half an egg in my case).

The dry team: Flour, salt, soda and spices.

Add the dry ingredients and combine thoroughly.

Shape dough into walnut sized balls and roll in sugar. ( I always place some sugar into a small baggie and toss the balls into the sugar and just roll around to coat. Less mess and alot quicker!).

Place the balls on an ungreased cookie sheet and flatten slightly with fingers. Another tip, I always sprinkle a little sugar on the baking sheets when it calls for ungreased sheets. This gives the cookies a kind of crunchy "base" that makes them easier to lift off when finished.

Look at those beauties!! Thin, crunchy, chewy, tasty !!

Swedish Ginger Cookies

3/4 cup strained bacon fat ( I crossed out 3/4 cup in the original recipe and wrote in 1/2 cup. Not remembering why I did this, I did stick with the 1/2 cup measurement).
1 cup sugar, plus more for rolling
4 tbsp. dark molasses
1 large egg
2 cups AP flour
3/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
1. Heat oven to 350.
2. In bowl of electric mixer, cream together bacon fat and sugar.
3. Beat in molasses and egg.
4. Add remaining ingredients and combine thoroughly.
5. Shape dough into walnut size balls, roll in sugar and flatten with fingers on ungreased baking sheet.
6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until cookies are golden brown and crackled on top.
7. Cool on wire racks. Store in air tight containers.


  1. I make these cookie year-round, as we eat quite a bit of bacon. They sell well at church bake sales. Our older folks remember using drippings in the old days & these bring back good memories.

  2. Thanks for sharing Catherine.
    Bacon fat makes everything taste better! We use why not bacon fat? It's all good!



Related Posts with Thumbnails