Honor To the Pig

Should all cookies be sweet, Dear Readers? Not when they have the savory, “kicky” taste of this recipe!

On her blog site, delightfulcountrycookin.com, Kristen, a family friend, posted the traditional recipe called “Cheese Tidbits.” She said, “My college roommate would get packages of these and never share! I had to find out what all the fuss was about. They are buttery, cheesy, and peppery—a great and addictive combo.”
That description alone and the few ingredients required were enough to get my curiosity aroused to begin assembling the recipe. But before I measured any ingredient, the recesses of my mind were already jumping into action, thinking about the addition of unique flavors to enrich this savory cookie creation. It needed the signature Miss NiNi creative pizzazz!

The assembling of ingredients, shaping of dough, and baking requirements were like those of a traditional cookie. However, before I could even begin to enrich the ingredients within this savory and not sweet recipe, I had to get the “cookie” idea out of my head. After all, when I pop a cookie into my mouth, I expect to eat something sweet. You, too, Dear Readers? Wah…lah…introducing the savory “biscuit”! After all, what we in the USA know as a cookie is known as a biscuit by the Brits!

What brilliant flavor combinations were forthcoming in my biscuit creation, you might ask? First…many people in this big ole world think that everything tastes better when it is made with bacon. With this recipe, I definitely concur! Sweet smoked bacon and cheddar could marry and live happily ever after in my taste-testing tummy.

I had some smoked bacon chipotle sea salt in my cupboard that was screaming, “Use me! Use me!” By just adding a wee amount, I jacked up the heat component and enhanced the bacon flavor all at the same time. By all means, this sea salt is not a required ingredient. It was one of those, “Hmmm, what-else-do-I-have-in-my-cupboard-to-create-the-taste-I’m-wanting ingredient?”

I like foods that have crunchy textures. Thus, roasted sunflower seeds became a win-win to add to the mix and give its own flavor boost.

Oh, by the way, Dear Readers, did you know that March 1 is National Pig Day in the U.S.? In 1972, two sisters crowned the day as such to honor and give thanks to pigs. Quirky, isn’t it?

Since there were no eggs in the dough, I felt it more than appropriate to taste my new treats before they went into the oven. Wouldn’t you want to do that too, Dear Readers? I chattered to preheated oven number two a quote from my mom, “Hold your ponies!”The fabulous dough was so tasty that I deemed it a fantastic pre-oven treat! And, Dear Readers, just to be perfectly honest with you, I’m not at liberty to divulge how much of that tasty dough was consumed prior to baking. Let’s just say, it was utterly enjoyable!

Chocolate-bacon…Bacon-chocolate…such a tasty 21st Century haute couture flavor combination! The only flavor missing in my new savory bacon-cheddar-chipotle biscuit was that kiss of dark chocolate. However, I solved that problem. I imagine that I could have melted an ounce or two of dark chocolate and drizzled it over the top of the baked biscuits. But with a rich dark chocolate candy piece at my fingertips, one bite of this biscuit along with one bite of dark chocolate candy spiritedly awakened my sleeping taste buds.

These flavor combinations might be too over the top for you, Dear Readers, but I choose to “Crown the royal pig with chocolate! It’s a perfect 10!”

Savory Bacon Cheddar Chipotle Biscuits

Basic Recipe:
1 c. butter, softened
8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. crispy rice cereal
½ t. salt
½ t. cayenne pepper

Ingredients Added by Miss NiNi:
½ t. smoked bacon chipotle sea salt
2 slices bacon, fried, chopped into small pieces
2 T. roasted sunflower seeds

Method: Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. In small frying pan, fry bacon until crispy and browned but not burned. Cool slightly. Chop into small pieces. Beat butter with cheddar cheese. Add flour, salts, and cayenne. When well-mixed, fold in crispy rice cereal, bacon pieces, and sunflower seeds. Shape in 1-1/2 inch balls. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Flatten with a fork. Bake 12-13 minutes. Makes about 40 cookies.

(Eat with chocolate…at your own risk!)

Miss NiNi