There are family artifacts and heirlooms that fill up our houses and storage units – crates of etched glasses from the mid 20th century, 200 year old marble tops (you see it in most of the pictures here), and others. Then you have the kind that exist on a notecard or in a photo album. The sentimental ones.

This year, I received my great grandmother’s chocolate chip cookie recipe. Now I understand that everyone makes a chocolate chip cookie, but at my great grandmother’s home there were always chocolate chip cookies in a tin jar by the door. Always. When you walked in, you got a cookie.

She passed away in my college years, but, after listening to many family stories, those same cookies that were there in the 1990’s were there in the 1950’s and not until she passed did we find out her secret.

Bacon fat.

While my mother was repulsed at first, it makes sense. There was a Blue Hills Bros. tin can on the windowsill over the sink. That was the receptacle. There was a small family smokehouse outside of their farmhouse, so I can only assume that she was a bacon maker. Feeding a big family in the depression and thereafter likely forced thrift, but the byproducts were cookies that tasted ahead of their time. Times were tough, butter expensive, and bacon fat plentiful and delicious.

Now, I have made it pretty clear here that I am not a big fan of the trend of mixing bacon with desserts. I find it forced and trend riding. These cookies are simple chocolate chip cookies that replace part of the butter with bacon fat. The flavor difference is a very subtle smoke and a little more salt, which I find really good paired with chocolate.

The suggested amount of bacon fat is up to substitute up to half of the total quantity of butter with bacon fat. While some people may start small and work up, I am not those people. I started with 50% butter/50% bacon fat. It was clear to me that this is how my great grandmother rolled because the taste brought me immediately back to her farmhouse.