Trail Chef: Bacon Cookies! 'Nuff said.

No, seriously: This meaty confection packs major punch on grueling days.
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No, seriously: This meaty confection packs major punch on grueling days.

Bacon, like fine wines and espresso, inspires a special fervor in people. For them, it's not just any old food item, but a greasy, crispy platform to higher consciousness. Bacon bits in your rice or precooked strips on the camp stove—I get it. Hey, I like my bacon-and-eggs-in-a-bag as much as the next girl. But bacon cookies? I was skeptical. But web producer Katie Herrell proved the doubters wrong on a freezing hut trip last winter. These uber-hearty snacks (really, more like explorer-era hardtack than cookies) were actually kind of tasty—and they were loaded with the energy-giving calories you need for cold-weather exertion. Try 'em; I'll bet you'll be surprised, too.

Bacon Cookies with Maple Icing

Adapted from barbaricgulp.com

4 slices thick-cut, lean bacon, chopped

2 cups flour

1 stick butter, cut into pieces and softened

1 large egg

3 tablespoons heavy cream

At home

Fry bacon until crisp, then dry on paper towels. In a bowl, combine flour, butter, egg, and cream and mix until well-blended. Add the bacon and knead until dough is soft and bacon is evenly distributed. Roll the dough into one or two 1.5-inch-thick logs. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill until firm (about two hours).

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut dough into 1/4-inch-thick slices and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes, until cookies are lightly browned. Transfer to a rack to cool.

Maple Icing

Combine about 1/2 cup of powdered sugar with about 3 tablespoons real maple syrup (experiment until you get the right consistency). Spread over cookies when they're completely cool.

—Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan