Most, well actually all, of my family members disagree with my earnest belief that it is sometimes appropriate to begin a meal with cookies. I know that I am right, and this recipe proves it.

Okay, it’s a savory cookie with bacon, but it is a cookie for sure. Soft, filled with the complementary flavors of bacon and blue cheese, these cookies will be a richly appreciated appetizer at your next party. Pair these cookies with nuts for a crunchy kickoff.

You can serve these cookies with either a red or white wine. Alternatively, the intensity of the flavors can match any cocktail. An old-fashioned Old Fashioned or a Whiskey Sour becomes a delightfully modern beverage with these cookies.

For a different use, place a pair of these cookies to the side of salad plate adorned with greens bathed by an intense vinaigrette. Mouths will be warmed and ready for that next course.

This recipe is from Sips and Apps by Kathy Casey. Casey is a mixologist. That’s a new title for a very talented bartender with definite chemistry tendencies. The drinks here are new and exciting: how about a Blue Thai Mojito. These cookies are one of a bevy of appetizers you’ll be tempted to try. My advice: succumb.

Plan on 5 or 6 of these cookies per person. That may seem high, but you haven’t baked these yet. Or seen the response of guests when greeted by a plate of them. You don’t want to run out, and, yes, they are very delicious the next day. I eat them for breakfast, despite what my family says.

 

Bacon, Blue Cheese, and Pecan Cocktail Cookies

Yield: 36-40 cookies

Ingredients:

¾ cup pecans
4 strips bacon, minced (about ½ cup packed)
Salted butter, as needed to make ½ cup with bacon drippings
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme, or ¼ teaspoon dried
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Spread the nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted, about 5 to 6 minutes. Let cool, and then coarsely chop.

In medium skillet or sauté pan over medium to medium-high heat, sauté the bacon until crispy, about 5 minutes; do not scorch. Drain the drippings into a heatproof measuring cup, and reserve the bacon separately. Let cool. To the cool drippings, add butter as needed to make ½ cup.

With an electric mixer, cream the cheese, thyme and pepper together in a mixing bowl. Add the butter mixture and mix in well. Add the flour and mix the dough for about two minutes. Add the bacon and nuts and mix until just evenly combine. Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes to chill.

Preheat an oven to 350°F at least 20 minutes before baking. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or leave them ungreased.

Scoop by rounded teaspoonfuls and shape into 1-inch diameter balls. Place, space 2 inches apart, on the baking sheets. With a fork, flatten to 1-½inch diameter rounds, dipping the fork tines into flour as needed, and making crisscross patterns as you would on peanut butter cookies. Bake until lightly golden at the edges about, 14 to 16 minutes. Cool on the pan.

Source: Sip and Apps by Kathy Casey