Every year, Theresa and I get together with our mother-in-law before Christmas to bake big batches of cookies to split among our three households. We tend to bake from the same favorite recipes every year. But for a few years, without realizing, we had been using two different recipes to make peanut butter “blossoms” (kiss-topped cookies). None of us could ever remember which recipe we preferred, so every year the debate came up. But no longer. It’s this recipe: moist, chewy, and chock-full of peanut butter-chocolate flavor.
What you need:
- 48 Hershey’s Kisses, milk chocolate (or dark chocolate, or Theresa’s favorite: peanut butter-filled Bells…)
- 1/2 c. shortening
- 3/4 c. creamy (or crunchy) peanut butter
- 1/3 c. granulated sugar
- 1/3 c. packed light brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 T. milk
- 1 t. vanilla extract (store-bought or homemade)
- 1 1/2 c. flour
- 1 t. baking soda
- 1/2 t. salt
- additional sugar, for coating
- stand mixer with paddle attachment
- measuring cups and spoons
- large and small bowls
- baking sheets
- cooling racks
Time: 30 minutes to mix and shape, 20 minutes to bake, plus cooling time
Freezeable: We freeze these before Christmas and pull them out as needed during the season.
Serves: Makes 4 dozen cookies.
Multiplying the recipe: We usually double the batch to split among us. If more than that are needed, make separate double batches.
Peanut Butter Blossoms:
Preheat oven to 375F. Unwrap Kisses (or desired chocolate toppers).
In the large bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the shortening and peanut butter. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat in the 1/3 c. granulated sugar and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg, milk, and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the peanut butter mixture.
Shape the dough into 1″ balls and roll each in granulated sugar. Place the balls slightly apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes. The balls will spread and flatten slightly, but should still look like little mounds. Remove from oven when lightly browned.
Immediately top each cookie with a Kiss, pressing down gently so that the chocolate indents the cookie and cracks form around the edges of the cookie. Gently move cookies from the baking sheet to a wire rack.
Note: Cooling will take longer than with other cookie recipes, as the chocolate melts from the heat of the just-baked cookie (don’t worry, it retains its shape!) and then must sit, undisturbed, to set again. We often allow these cookies to cool overnight before packaging them up.