Sugar Rush: Bacon Cookies at Cookie Confidential, Philadelphia

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[Photographs: Emily Teel]

Melissa Torre was tending bar at Sugar Mom's, a beloved (and recently shuttered) bar in Philadelphia when she, following the bar's mandate of everything-is-better-with-bacon, added some to a batch of chocolate chip cookies. "We just figured 'what wouldn't be better with bacon in it?'", she says. Sweet, salty, buttery, and meaty, the cookies quickly drew a following and before she knew it she was fielding orders from Capogiro, Di Bruno Bros. and Whole Foods. Since then, she's opened Cookie Confidential, a retail bakery just off of South Street, appeared on Cupcake Wars, and fed countless cravings with her savory approach to sweets.

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At Cookie Confidential, she makes traditional and mini cupcakes, cupcake push-pops, undercover cupcakes (layers of cake and frosting in a mason jar), and an array of cookies. For the more conservative sweets-eater, she bakes classics like snickerdoodle and oatmeal raisin. For the more adventurous, there's peanut butter sriracha, chipotle chocolate chip, and raspberry balsamic. She even invented what may be the only cheesesteak cookie. Dehydrated grass-fed beef and onion mingle in a savory cheddar base, which is topped with a tomato cream cheese "frosting" to mimic ketchup. The bacon cookies are still her signature item, but now there are four varieties: original bacon chocolate chip, salty-sweet bacon peanut butter, extremely breakfast-y oatmeal bacon maple, and the latest addition to the line, apple bacon cheddar.

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The bacon cookies themselves are each distinctive. Some are more wafer-like, with crunchy edges and chewy centers, while others (notably the peanut butter varieties) tend to be taller, rounder, and more cakey. They could be called homey, if at home you eat bacon cookies, and either way they're boldly flavored and satisfying. Maybe you're over the bacon trend, but Cookie Confidential's fearless, joyful approach to cramming all the delicious things into one bite is both a little bit crazy and a little bit courageous.

About the Author: Emily Teel is food writer and recipe developer in Philadelphia. Follow along at on Instagram @emily_teel or Twitter @brotherly_grub, and see more of her work at emilyteel.com

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