Bacon + Dark Chocolate Cookies

Bacon + Dark Chocolate Cookies - These cookies are sweet and salty, soft with a slight crunch, buttery, and rich. They're so amazingly addictive! Get the recipe at sarahjhauser.com! | Sarah J. Hauser #chocolate #chocolatechipcookies #bacon #sweets #cookies #baking

Sometimes I dream up recipes in my head, and then when I actually make them, they're terrible - or just underwhelming. This was not one of those recipes. I have been daydreaming about bacon chocolate chip cookies for about a month now, and I finally made them. I threw a splash of bourbon into the recipe and used big 'ol chunks of dark chocolate.

They turned out to be everything I had hoped for – sweet and salty, soft with a slight crunch, buttery, and rich. Just make sure to store them out of sight as soon as possible. Otherwise you may be tempted to eat them all way to quickly. (Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything...)

Bacon + Dark Chocolate Cookies - These cookies are sweet and salty, soft with a slight crunch, buttery, and rich. They're so amazingly addictive! Get the recipe at sarahjhauser.com! | Sarah J. Hauser #chocolate #chocolatechipcookies #bacon #sweets #cookies #baking
Bacon + Dark Chocolate Cookies - These cookies are sweet and salty, soft with a slight crunch, buttery, and rich. They're so amazingly addictive! Get the recipe at sarahjhauser.com! | Sarah J. Hauser #chocolate #chocolatechipcookies #bacon #sweets #cookies #baking
Bacon + Dark Chocolate Cookies - These cookies are sweet and salty, soft with a slight crunch, buttery, and rich. They're so amazingly addictive! Get the recipe at sarahjhauser.com! | Sarah J. Hauser #chocolate #chocolatechipcookies #bacon #sweets #cookies #baking
Bacon + Dark Chocolate Cookies - These cookies are sweet and salty, soft with a slight crunch, buttery, and rich. They're so amazingly addictive! Get the recipe at sarahjhauser.com! | Sarah J. Hauser #chocolate #chocolatechipcookies #bacon #sweets #cookies #baking
Bacon + Dark Chocolate Cookies - These cookies are sweet and salty, soft with a slight crunch, buttery, and rich. They're so amazingly addictive! Get the recipe at sarahjhauser.com! | Sarah J. Hauser #chocolate #chocolatechipcookies #bacon #sweets #cookies #baking
Bacon + Dark Chocolate Cookies - These cookies are sweet and salty, soft with a slight crunch, buttery, and rich. They're so amazingly addictive! Get the recipe at sarahjhauser.com! | Sarah J. Hauser #chocolate #chocolatechipcookies #bacon #sweets #cookies #baking

Bacon + Dark Chocolate Cookies
Yields about 5 dozen cookies

12 ounces thick cut bacon, diced
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
3 Tablespoons bourbon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 ½ - 4 cups all-purpose flour
8 ounces dark chocolate, roughly chopped (or use chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cook the diced bacon in a skillet until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Reserve the bacon fat left in the pan.

Measure out 1/3 cup of bacon fat and add to a large, microwave safe bowl. (For me, this was nearly all the bacon fat in the pan. If you don’t get enough fat, use butter to make up the remaining amount needed). Add in the butter, and heat gently in the microwave until the bacon fat and butter are completely melted. Cool slightly (so the eggs don’t get cooked when you add them).

Stir in the sugars, eggs, and bourbon. Mix until the ingredients are fully incorporated. Then add in the baking soda, salt, and 3 cups of flour, stirring after each cup of flour added.

Gradually add an additional ½ to 1 cup of flour until the dough reaches the desired consistency. I end up using at least 3 ¾ cups of flour total. More flour will yield a softer, rounder cookie.

Stir in the chopped dark chocolate and the bacon pieces, and mix until everything is evenly distributed.

Shape the dough into balls, 1 ½ inches in size, and place about 2 inches apart onto an parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until light brown and crisp on top. Cool slightly and then remove cookies from baking sheet. Pour yourself a big glass of milk, and enjoy!


This post was originally featured at Lark + Linen.


Vanilla Chai Shea Butter Soap

I have a bad habit of starting a hobby only to abandon it a couple years (or months) later. I love learning new skills, so I begin a project and then get distracted by some other fun venture. Eventually, I'm left in the wake of random craft supplies, half finished projects and a list of Skillshare classes I have yet to complete.

Every once in a while, though, I stumble upon the perfect creative outlet that works with my unstructured schedule and distracted brain while also leaving me with something practical. Soap making has been that hobby. While there are definitely times I've messed up a batch of soap, you don't have to be an expert to make a good bar. Even from your first beginners' batch, you've got something useful.

This is also one of those hobbies you can leave on the back burner for months, and then pick it back up again when you have time or feel the urge to experiment. There's room for creativity in recipe making, but it's also about chemistry, so you can geek out on the science of it if you want. Best of all? Soap making leaves you with a homemade staple that's so much better for your skin than many store-bought counterparts (and it also makes a great gift!).

Do you dabble in many different hobbies? Or do you stay focused on one or two at a time?

If you're new to soap making, please check out this full tutorial over at Offbeat + Inspired. You'll find all you need to know to get started, included information on supplies and safety guidelines.


Vanilla Chai Shea Butter Soap
Makes about 16 4 ounce bars of soap

*If you are new to soap making, visit this post from Offbeat + Inspired for the full instructions. 

Base Oils
15 ounces coconut oil
9 ounces olive oil
8 ounces sunflower oil
8 ounces shea butter
4 ounces jojoba oil

Lye Solution
13 ounces brewed chai tea, cooled (I used K'Tizo Tea's Bengali Chai)
6 ounces lye

Additives
Add 1.25 ounces vanilla fragrance oil and 2 teaspoons ground vanilla beans (optional) right before the mixture reaches trace.

Remember to let your soaps cure for 4-6 weeks before using or gifting!

Haus Favorites: 7 Practical Items to Give Parents of a Newborn

My husband and I have been asked a few times since we had our kids, "What did you guys find you really needed those first few months?" or "I want to bring so-and-so something they really need. What should I get?". I'm definitely no expert in the realm of motherhood. However, I do have the benefit of not having to look too far back in my memory to answer those questions (I use the word "memory" loosely, of course). 

I'll qualify this post by stating the obvious: every mom is different and every baby is different. As much as you try to prepare for your little one (or little ones), you'll never end up using things you thought you'd love and you'll find other items surprisingly indispensable. I will also say that this list is obviously not comprehensive. These are simply a few gifts and supplies that were incredibly helpful for my husband and me after we had our twins. If there existed a "new parent version" of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, these items would be level one (at least for me).

So what are a few things we really needed those first few months? Here's my answer: 

1. Dynarex Disposable Underpad. No, these weren't (primarily) for me (I won't go into the postpartum details here). I honestly don't know why these aren't on every single baby registry imaginable. I guess it's kind of a weird thing to buy someone, but my sister got these for us when we came home from the hospital and six months later, I am still thanking her (thank you, Jenn!). We've used these mostly on the changing table. When you're a new parent and your kid seems to constantly pee or poop as soon as you take their diaper off (baby boys are especially guilty of this!), these underpads are priceless - especially at 3am. No changing sheets, no wiping down a changing pad. Buy these for a new mama and she will thank you. 

2. Diapers and wipes. Giving diapers and wipes is about as practical as it gets! Need gifting ideas for cloth diapers parents? Add another cloth diaper to their stash (more diapers means laundry less often), or buy other diapering items like flushable diaper liners. (Note that especially if you give disposable diapers, include a receipt so parents can exchange them for a different size or brand if needed.)

3. Breastfeeding accessories and/or baby formula. As a breastfeeding and pumping mom, I needed things like breastmilk storage bags and nursing pads. For formula feeding parents, giving a can or two of formula is incredibly helpful. (Again, include a gift receipt on this because parents and babies may prefer certain brands over others.)

4. Laundry Detergent. The amount of laundry you have as new parent is ridiculous. You can't go wrong with gifting a huge jug of laundry detergent (try to get a natural, fragrance-free version to avoid any skin irritation for newborns). If you know the new parents are using cloth diapers, give a cloth-diaper friendly detergent.

5. Restaurant gift cards, grocery store gift cards and homemade meals. If you can make a homemade meal for someone, do it. We had meals provided for us for about three months. It was absolutely incredible. After the first round of meals was used up, we had a stock of items in the freezer that family and friends had provided. After that, we had restaurant and grocery store gift cards to use. We were given gift cards to Trader Joe's, take out places and our favorite restaurants for date nights. It was awesome. 

6. Amazon gift cards or big box store gift cards. It's nice to have a gift card or two to buy baby supplies you still need or random items you never thought of but are so thankful you can find on Amazon or at Target. 

7. Coffee. I think since having twins, our coffee consumption has increased exponentially. Give the gift of (good) coffee and sleep-deprived parents will be grateful. My suggestion, as always, is FreshGround Roasting beans. You can even buy new parents a coffee subscription for a few months so they're well caffeinated after too many sleepless nights. 

There's a lot more I could say, and there are a lot more products I could talk about (and probably will in a later post). This is just a starting point. And if the thought of giving a pack of diapers, wipes or a gift card sounds boring to you, there are fun ways to do it. My neighbors combined forces and gave us a basket stuffed full of assorted baby necessities and a super generous pile of gift cards. It was thoughtful, useful and wrapped adorably (yes, we have the world's best neighbors). 

Whatever you decide to give, know that it's appreciated. The support and encouragement shown through gift giving is powerful!

What practical items would you add to this list? I'd love to hear in the comments!