December 11, 2018

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Peanut Butter Blossoms are a Christmas cookie platter classic!  Peanut butter and chocolate is one of my favorite combinations, and I always enjoyed making these growing up.  (I feel these are a childhood baking staple for many people!) They don’t require much in terms of decoration, but they turn out looking great—and most importantly, they taste divine.

The Hershey kiss on top of the peanut butter cookie reminds me of a Christmas tree.  I roll the peanut butter cookie dough in sugar before baking because it gives an extra shimmer to the cookie.

I’ve tinkered around with a peanut butter blossom recipe for the last few years. I found that some recipes had too much flour, and others didn’t have enough peanut butter flavor for me.  In this version, I reduced the flour and added in some almond flour.  I find that using almond flour helps lighten pastry texture.  The almond flour helped boost the nut flavor, too.  The dark brown sugar adds a little more molasses taste, which goes well win the peanut butter.  This cookie had that nostalgic peanut butter cookie flavor that I was looking for.

I froze the Hershey Kisses before sticking them on the cookies.  After I removed the cookies from the oven, I placed them back into the oven for about a minute or two. By sticking the cookies briefly back into the oven after placing the Hershey Kiss on the cookies, the Hershey Kiss gets cemented onto the cookie.  You don’t need the Hershey Kisses falling off the cookies!

Do not use natural peanut butters for these cookies.  It has too much oil and will make the dough too runny.  I like Jif for baking cookies.

This dough also makes a ton of cookies, making it a perfect choice for a cookie exchange.

Peanut Butter Blossoms 
Yields 6 dozen cookies

2 1/2 cups or 300 grams unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup or 120 grams almond flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound butter (2 sticks)
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup smooth peanut butter
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 bags Hershey Kisses, unwrapped
1/2 cup granulated sugar, for rolling the dough

In a large bowl, add both flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the butter, vanilla, and both sugars (2 cups total).  With the paddle attachment, mix until combined and creamy for about five minutes.  Next, add the peanut butter.  Then, add the eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated.

Add half of the flour mixture, and mix until incorporated. Then, add the remaining half of  flour. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liner. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and roll the dough all in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar.

Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, or until the outsides are set and the edges begin to crack. Remove from oven. Working quickly, press one Hershey Kiss into the center of each cookie. Return to oven and bake for another 2 minutes, until the cookies are lightly golden.

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.  Repeat with remaining dough and Hershey Kisses.

Source: Adapted from Land of Lakes, Betty Crocker, and Hershey’s

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