Baking during the holidays is one of my favourite traditions. I’ve been making a huge platter of holiday treats for as long as I can remember. It can be quite stressful to bake hundreds of cookies every year, but it’s worth it because it makes my friends and family so happy.
I always make about four or five varieties of cookies, including the staples (sugar cookies and ginger molasses cookies), but I always like to add one or two new types each year. I look to create recipes that will surprise and delight my friends and family, and I know that this combination of bacon, pecans and maple will do just that.
The idea came from a maple, walnut cookie recipe that I’ve been making for years; this combination is so delicious and I knew that adding bacon would only elevate it even more. I tested it as a cookie the first time, before deciding to turn it into a shortbread bar. Shortbread bars are one of the most simple and delicious desserts to make, which means that this is one of those low-stress baked goods you know will work perfectly every single time.
The bacon gets cooked first, then ¼ cup of the crumbled cooked bacon gets mixed into the batter and the remaining bacon gets sprinkled on top, that way there is a little bacon in every single bite. It adds savoury, salty notes to this dessert.
You could also swap out the maple glaze and drizzle the shortbread with melted milk chocolate--bacon and chocolate is another classic flavour pairing!
Makes 16 Squares
30 - 35 Minutes
For shortbread bars:
- 5 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped, divided
- ¾ cup butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup icing sugar
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper.
- Cream butter, icing sugar and maple syrup together with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Lightly mix in flour and pecans.
- Add ¼ cup of chopped bacon (reserving the rest for sprinkling at the end), and mix with hands until dough begins to clump together.
- Pour dough into prepared pan and pack down using hands. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until fully cooked. Remove from oven and allow to fully cool, about an hour.
- Meanwhile, make the glaze; whisk icing sugar with maple syrup.
- Once shortbread bars are cool, remove from baking pan, drizzle with maple glaze and sprinkle with remaining bacon. Cut into 16 equal squares.