Friday, October 16, 2009

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Kisses

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Kisses - first made long ago but most recent documented date November 26, 2008

This is a perennial favorite if you like peanut butter and chocolate together. The peanut butter cookie dough is super easy to make and easy to handle. Roll them into balls, bake them then top them with a Hershey kiss as soon as they come out of the oven. During the busy holiday baking season (or at any other time), make them into dough balls, put them in freezer bags and keep in the freezer until you’re ready to bake them.

For this recipe, you just have to be organized. I make the dough first, roll them into balls and while the first batch is baking, I’m unwrapping the Hershey kisses so they’re ready to push into the cookies as soon as they’re out of the oven. Don’t make the dough balls too big. You don’t want a big peanut butter cookie with a (comparatively) little Hershey kiss in the middle. Make them proportional. These don’t spread much which is good. And be sure you push the Hershey kiss into the center of the cookie as soon as you take the cookie sheet out of the oven. The point is to have the Hershey kiss melt slightly into the hot cookie so it adheres to the cookie when the cookie cools. Don’t move these around a lot either once you push the Hershey kiss in. Both the chocolate kiss and the cookie will be soft while they’re still warm. It’s important to let them cool completely before moving them around.

This recipe is from an old "Cookies" baking book from so long ago that I don’t even remember buying it. In fact, my mom might have bought it for me when I was a kid and I’ve been baking from it ever since. This is another one of those recipes where I’ve liked this so much, I don’t try a lot of similar recipes because I’ve already found the one I like. If you’re a real peanut butter fiend, you can substitute Reese’s peanut butter cups for the Hershey kisses but I like to use the pure chocolate kiss myself.

½ cup butter, room temperature
½ cup smooth or crunchy peanut butter
¾ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
48 milk chocolate candy kisses, unwrapped

1. Preheat oven to 375˚F.
2. In a medium bowl, beat together butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, ¼ cup granulated sugar, egg, vanilla and salt until light and fluffy.
3. Add flour and baking soda, beating until thoroughly blended.
4. Shape dough into 48 balls, using a rounded teaspoon for each. Roll balls into 3 tablespoons granulated sugar.
5. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes or until light golden. Immediately top each cookie with a candy kiss, carefully pressing down firmly.
6. Remove cooks from baking sheets, cool on racks. Makes 48 (1 ¾”) cookies.

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