These bacon rich biscotti have a secret ingredient twist... crystalized ginger. The ginger provides a sweet & spicy backdrop to the applewood bacon. Topped with my luscious maple caramel, these biscotti are a hit with bacon lovers and cookie lovers alike!
1In a thick bottom skillet or cast iron pan, cook the bacon until crispy. Remove bacon from pan and chop coarsely; reserve bacon fat (should yield approx ¼ cup). Set aside.
2With a mortar and pestle, grind the crystallized ginger into powder. Set aside.
3In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until sugar starts to dissolve. Add the ginger and eggs and continue whisking until airy. Add the vanilla extract to the mix. Add the cinnamon; whisk in. Pour in the bacon fat (1/4 cup).
4Add the baking powder, baking soda and ½ of the flour; stir until incorporated.
Add in the chopped pecans, dates and the cooked bacon. Stir to incorporate.
Add in the remaining flour and stir to incorporate. Cover the dough with plastic wrap (directly against to keep out air) and refrigerate 2 hours.
5Preheat oven to 360 degrees.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and form into two long logs. Place on cookie sheet or rack covered with parchment paper. Press the dough logs to approximately 1 ½ inch high by 4 inches wide. (The logs will extend approximately 12-14 inches in length or to within an inch or two of the edges of your cookie sheet).
6Bake at 360 degrees for 30 minutes (or until lightly browned and slightly firm.) Remove from oven and let cool 2-3 minutes. Using a bread knife or other serrated knife slice both logs on the bias into individual cookies about one inch in width per piece. Note: Keep a wet towel handy and wipe the knife blade after each cut to keep the cookies uniform and aid in making clean cuts. Separate the cookies to allow air flow and return to oven to bake for another 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to fully cool.
7To make the caramel, melt the butter and sugar over low heat in a small, heavy bottom saucepan. Add the maple syrup, ground ginger, vanilla extract & pinch of sea salt. Continue to cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a whisk or spoon. When the mixture starts to foam, add in the milk and continue stirring and cooking approximately 7 minutes. The caramel will bubble lightly as it reduces and thickens. Test for viscosity by dipping the back of a metal teaspoon in the mixture… if it sticks to the spoon, but still glides off, it’s ready. Note: The caramel will continue to thicken as it cools, so you should immediately coat the cookies.
Using a teaspoon gently pour the caramel over the cookies in a back and forth motion, forming streaks of caramel across the cookies. The caramel will be sticky, so do not stack the cookies. Refrigerate or set aside in a cool place until service. Cookies can be stored in a single stack in a plastic storage container.