Happy birthday to Elvis Presley, the King of Rock ‘N ‘ Roll®. Elvis was known to love his peanut butter, bananas and bacon. All three of those flavors are rolled up into this sandwich cookie that I’ve named Cacao Jungle Cookies. I’ve thrown in some roasted cacao nibs for a deep chocolate crunch.

While the recipe calls for using semisweet chocolate in the brownie sandwich cookie base (it balances well with the banana-bacon cream filling), I also recommend trying a more decadent version of the cookie by substituting the semisweet chocolate with Scharffen Berger’s 82% Cacao Extra Dark Chocolate which gives a stronger flavor contrast.

Cacao Jungle Cookies

Preheat your oven to 350° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and let cool. Finely chop the bacon and set aside.

Place the semisweet chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until melted; set aside and let cool. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a separate large bowl, use a mixer to beat together the butter and sugars (about 2 minutes). Add the eggs and vanilla, beating until combined. With mixer on low speed, alternately beat in the chocolate and flour mixtures. Mix just until combined. Fold in the cacao nibs by hand.

Drop the dough by heaping tablespoons, about 2 inches apart, onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire rack and cool completely. Yields about 32 cookies, which makes 16 sandwich cookies.

While the cookies are baking, beat the softened butter, peanut butter, mashed banana and cream cheese in a medium bowl, until just mixed. Add confectioners’ sugar and salt, mixing until combined. Fold in the bacon by hand.

Cover the bowl and refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes. When ready to assemble the cookies, put 1 tablespoon of filling on the bottom of one cookie. Then place another cookie on top.

 

Ingredients:

Sandwich Cookie Ingredients:
12 ounces semisweet chocolate (62% cacao), chopped
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup roasted cacao nibs

Filling Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 ripe banana, mashed
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
pinch of kosher salt
4 slices of bacon, crispy and finely chopped

 

Number of servings: 8 (2 sandwich cookies per person)

Cooking time: 14 minutes