It’s that time of year again. Time to be busy in the kitchen doing Christmas baking. This year, since I’m in the weight-loss mode, I’m not making the stocking candy. But–we MUST have cookies for Christmas. That’s an essential part of the feast. (Now I know that cookies have nothing to do with the true meaning for Christmas, but it is a lovely custom.) The cookie I’m making here in these pictures are called by various names: Peanut Blossoms, Peanut Butter Blossoms, Hersey Kisses Cookie and so on. I’ve had different versions of these cookies, but this is the best one I’ve had.
Be sure you use real butter and real vanilla. Natural peanut butter with no sugar added gives a stronger peanut butter flavor. Be sure to stir all the oil into the peanut butter before measuring.
First, gather your tools and ingredients. You will need one to two bags of Hersey Kisses candy. Get out the white sugar, brown sugar, butter, peanut butter, flour, vanilla, salt, baking soda and eggs. (I doubled the basic recipe, so my measurements and pictures will be for a double recipe.) I used a large bag of Kisses. Measure out 3 & 1/2 cups of flour, 2 teaspoons baking soda, and 1 teaspoon salt into a medium bowl and set it aside. You can sift the dry stuff together, if you want, but I rarely do.
Before you begin, unwrap the kisses you need.
To make a double batch, measure out one cup of white sugar, one cup of brown sugar (dark or light–it doesn’t matter), 2/3 cup of peanut butter and one cup of butter. (Two sticks of butter make one cup.)
Cut up two sticks of butter and put it in the mixing bowl. Dump the sugars into your mixing bowl. Scrape out the peanut butter and dump it on top of the sugars.
Beat the mixture until it is well mixed.
Now crack two eggs and dump them in on top of the sugar mixture. Add two teaspoons vanilla.
Beat the mixture again. The color will lighten.
Now take the flour mixture that you have set aside and dump about one-third of it into the mixing bowl.
Beat. After it is incorporated into the sugar mixture, repeat with another third, then the last of the flour. The dough should be stiff enough to hold its shape when formed into a ball.
The dough should form a ball when kneaded slightly.
Turn on your oven to 375F. Pinch off a small piece of dough, about the size of a large walnut, and roll it between your hands to form a ball. (The smaller the ball, the more chocolate-to-cookie ratio you will have.) Place the balls on an un-greased cookie sheet, far enough apart for them to spread a little.
Place into the oven and time the cookies for eight minutes. At the end of the time, check to see if they are lightly browned. If not, leave them in a couple more minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven. They will look like this. (It’s okay if they are a little browner than this.)
Place an unwrapped Hersey Kisses in the middle of each cookie, pressing down very gently. The top will crack as you push the Kiss into the cookie. That’s okay.
Now RETURN the cookie sheet to the oven for two more minutes.
Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for about five minutes, then remove them to a cookie rack to finish cooling.
Here’s the basic recipe, which I doubled.
1/2 cup butter 1/3 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup white sugar 1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar 1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla 1 bag foil wrapped chocolate kisses
Unwrap at least 40 kisses.
Cream together the butter, peanut butter, and the sugars. Add the egg and vanilla. Beat again. Mix in the dry ingredients, a little at a time.
Pinch off a small amount of dough and roll it into a ball the size of a walnut. Place on un-greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375F for 8-10 minutes or until very lightly browned.
Removed the cookie sheet from the oven and place one kiss in the center of each cookie, pressing down a little. RETURN the cookie on the sheet to the oven and bake for 2 more minutes. Remove the cookies to a rack to cool.