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Friday, December 4, 2009

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Blossoms

I'm sure you've all seen this cookie before, but it's one of our favorites. This year we're using a new recipe for an old classic. Leave it to Cook's Illustrated to take it up a notch. This recipe replaces some of the peanut butter with ground peanuts for a more intense peanut butter flavor. Note in the directions--Instead of adding the chocolate Kiss after baking (as most recipes recommend), place the chocolate on the cookie for the last two minutes of baking. The brief amount of heat effectively stabilizes the exterior of the candy.These cookies are perfect any chocolate/peanut butter lover. Not a fan of peanut butter? Try the chocolate version. You can get pretty creative with these cookies. Some of the possibilities? Try the hugs, white chocolate kisses, or even the cute little candy cane kisses. If you like nuts, the kisses with almonds would be delicious too.
Peanut Blossom Cookies
Cook's Country

Makes about 8 dozen

Any Hershey's Chocolate Kiss—dark, milk, white, or "Hugs"—works in this recipe. For best results, the cookies should be baked on the middle rack, one baking sheet at a time. This recipe can be cut in half.

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup roasted salted peanuts
16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened but still cool, plus extra for greasing pan
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 large eggs , at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
96 Hershey's Chocolate Kisses (from two 1-pound bags), ready-to-use or wrappers removed

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Whisk 1 3/4 cups flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together in medium bowl. Process remaining 1 cup flour and peanuts in food processor until ground, about fifteen 1-second pulses, then stir into flour mixture.
3. Beat butter and sugars together in large bowl with electric mixer at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add peanut butter and continue to beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition, until incorporated, about 30 seconds, then beat in vanilla, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl, if necessary. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture in two batches, and mix until incorporated. Cover bowl and refrigerate dough until stiff, about 30 minutes.
4. Roll 1-inch balls of dough and space 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Bake until just set and beginning to crack, 9 to 11 minutes, rotating baking sheet from front to back halfway through baking (while cookies are baking, place additional balls of dough on second baking sheet). Working quickly, remove baking sheet from oven and firmly press one Kiss in center of each cookie. Return baking sheet to oven and bake until lightly golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer cookies directly to wire rack to finish cooling. Repeat rolling and baking remaining cookies. Cool completely. (Cookies will be cool enough to eat after about 30 minutes, but Kisses will take 2 hours to set completely.)

Triple Chocolate Kiss Cookies
adapted slightly from Hershey's

48 HERSHEY'S KISSES Brand Milk Chocolates or HERSHEY'S KISSES WITH ALMONDS Brand Milk Chocolates
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 tablespoon milk
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Chocolate Chips or HERSHEY'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Directions:1. Remove wrappers from chocolate pieces. Heat oven to 350°F. 2. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Add eggs and milk; beat well. 3. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. 4. Bake about 8 -10 minutes rotating sheets halfway through . Gently press chocolate piece in center of each cookie; place back in oven and cook for 2 more minutes. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. About 4 dozen cookies.
Posted by: Sallie & Julia
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Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the tasty, sturdy (!) chocolate cookie recipe. I wanted to make cookies using the new Hershey's candy cane kisses and tried a different double chocolate cookie recipe. What a disaster! The cookies turned out so soft I could barely scrape them off the pan and the kisses melted right threw the center! I had to throw the whole batch away! I skipped the extra chips in the dough and your recipe worked perfectly!

One note if you want to try these - the candy cane kisses are VERY sensitive to heat. Don't put them in the oven. Instead, I baked the cookies for 11 min., then popped the kisses in just out of the oven and let the cookies rest on the hot sheet for 1-2 min. The kisses melt down and look very pretty and festive! CCN

My Sister's Kitchen said...

I'm so glad you tried the chocolate version. Thanks for the tips on the candy cane kisses! What a delicious idea!

Sharon Martin said...

I used the Hershey's Hugs instead of kisses and they are the same as the candy cane kisses...they melt pretty easily. But this cookie recipe is now my favorite!! Thanks for this!

My Sister's Kitchen said...

It sounds like the candy cane kisses are the way to go. I love mint and chocolate. I will have to try it.

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