Kale. I hate it. I really do. One of the reasons why I hate it is that some people have said that kale is as trendy as bacon! What nonsense! And one time, I was at a party where someone had made some “crispy kale chips” and told me: “Try these. They’re just as good as bacon.” Needless to say, they were NOT just as good as bacon!!
You might be thinking, “So why’d you make a recipe using kale if you hate it so much??” Because, I was tricked into eating it. It’s true. A fellow Bacon Today staff member got me to eat kale by adding it to this bread pudding. The kale is cooked in the bacon fat, and with all the bacon, cheese, and bread that’s also in this dish, then yeah, I’m able to admit that kale is not as bad as I thought it was.
So even if you’re as anti-kale as I was, give this recipe a try. This hearty, savory bread pudding is best enjoyed with a glass of white wine or a bottle of lager or even hard cider.
To make the filling, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, syrup, vanilla, salt, melted butter, and bourbon (optional) in a large bowl.
Add chopped pecans, bacon, and chocolate chips into a food processor and pulse until pieces are very small. Stir chopped bits into the egg mixture and put it in the fridge until ready to use.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
Whisk the flour, pecan dust, baking powder and salt together in a bowl.
In another bowl, whip the butter and the sugar with a hand-held mixer until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla until just combined. Slowly beat in the dry ingredients in 2 additions, mixing just until incorporated.
Scoop the dough into tablespoon-sized balls. Place about 2-inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Press a thumbprint into the center of each ball, about 1/2-inch deep. Fill each cookie with a small teaspoon of filling. You may not need all of the filling.
Bake cookies until the edges are golden, about 17-20 minutes. Cool cookies on the baking sheets. Serve when cool enough to handle, or cool completely and store in an air-tight container.
If you want to make the adult version of this by adding the bourbon, it will cook out, but you can brush a little bourbon on top of the cookies once they are cooled enough to handle. Serve right away, as the alcohol will evaporate. Remember, drink responsibly!'