Sweet Cookies with a Salty Twist: Primal Cut Cookies

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Why can’t a cookie be a teaching tool? Not only are these delicious, but they also demonstrate the primal cuts of a pig. For pig aficionados, no meal is ever complete without a bacon dessert.
- 4 thin slices bacon
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 3⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 ounces cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon Citrus Extract
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- Royal Icing

Step 1

In a small skillet, fry the bacon until crisp. Drain on a paper towel, then chop very fine and set aside. Pour the rendered fat into a heat-resistant bowl and place in the refrigerator to cool.

Step 2

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Step 3

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, 2 tablespoons of the cooled rendered bacon fat, and the sugar until light and fluffy (if your bacon did not render to tablespoons fat, use extra butter to make up the difference — you’ll need 1 cup total fat). Add the egg and beat until completely combined. Add the cream cheese, citrus extract, and orange zest and beat until incorporated. Gradually beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture until completely incorporated. Add the bacon and mix until just combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Step 4

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Step 5

Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to 1/8 inch thick. Using a large pig-shaped cookie cutter, cut out the cookies and place them on the baking sheet 1-inch apart.
Bake for 8 minutes, or until the cookies are just beginning to brown.

Step 6

Let them cool completely on the baking sheet.

Step 7

Decorate the cookies in a primal cut design. Using a pastry bag fitted with a small round #2 tip and filled with thick white icing, outline each entire cookie and then outline the pattern of the primal cuts. Using a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip (you can also use a squeeze bottle with a small opening) fill in one color of the icing at a time and use a toothpick to fill to the edges. Tap the cookie to help the color settle. Continue on with this color/cut/section of each cookie before changing to the next color. Continue the process until all sections are filled with color.

Step 8

This tutorial is printed with permission from "Sweet and Vicious: Baking with Attitude" by Libbie Summers and photographer Chia Chong and published by Rizzoli.

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