NEWS

12 Oct

A sweet and savory Halloween treat

Save the tricks for another time; this Halloween is all about the treats. Halloween parties are par for the course, and spooktacular hosts and hostesses want to serve their guests something special. Enter a dessert hybrid that layers various flavors to create a masterpiece that simply works.

This recipe for "Grilled Chocolate Chip Cookie Bacon S'mores," courtesy of the National Pork Board and Tiffany Edwards of Le Crème de la Crumb, is the Frankenstein's monster of the dessert world. You'd be hard-pressed to find a person who can pass up the salty swagger of smoked bacon paired with the creamy richness of chocolate and the crunch and sweetness of a chocolate chip cookie. Top it with marshmallow and this Halloween treat is alive with flavor!

Grilled Chocolate Chip Cookie Bacon S'mores

Yields 12

12 thick-cut slices bacon (hickory smoked, Applewood smoked or maple)

12 large marshmallows

12 2-inch squares chocolate good quality

12 skewers

12 tablespoons butter, softened

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 egg plus 1 egg yolk

2 cups flour

1 3.4-ounce box instant French vanilla pudding mix, dry, not prepared

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Make the cookies: In a bowl, cream together butter, sugar and brown sugar for 1 to 2 minutes until light and very fluffy. Add vanilla, egg and egg yolk, and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, pudding mix, baking soda, and salt.

Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until incorporated and dough comes together. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover very tightly and chill for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Roll dough into balls (about 11/2 inch) and space 2 to 3 inches apart on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until lightly browned on top. Allow to cool 5 to 10 minutes on baking sheet before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

To grill the bacon: Heat a grill to medium-high heat. Thread bacon onto skewers in an S-shape. Place skewers directly on grill and cook 8 to 12 minutes, rotating as needed to ensure even cooking. Transfer to a plate, let cool and then remove bacon from skewers. Set aside.

Meanwhile, roast the marshmallows: Roast marshmallows directly over the grill using skewers or roasting sticks until cooked to your preference.

Assemble s'mores: Flip one cookie over so it's upside down. Place a square of chocolate on top of the upside-down cookie, then top with grilled marshmallow, bacon and a right side-up second cookie. Serve immediately.

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