Thursday, February 27, 2014

Peanut Butter Blossoms

In my opinion, chocolate and peanut butter just go together.  And Peanut Butter Blossoms are those perfect cookies that make the best of this beautiful union.  They have been around forever and they will continue to be around forever.  My mom made them for my sister and I, I made them for the clever girl, and she'll probably make them for someone in the future too.  They are eternal.  There are about a zillion renditions of this recipe out there, but I chose to make the one from Joy of Baking.  I liked the ratios better (some had equal amounts of butter, peanut butter and sugar) and this one had vanilla extract which is always a winner.  However, according to the recipe, you should yield about 4 dozen cookies.... but I ended up with 75!  Total, not 75 dozen.  I must have made mine a lot smaller than suggested, which gave me a higher chocolate to peanut butter ratio.  That works for me.  Plus, it so happens that a bag of Hershey's kisses had 75 kisses inside, so it was perfect.  Meant to be, I say.

You have to have a bit of patience to make these cookies, only because the peanut butter part has to chill for about an hour.  But it is only an hour and that is totally doable.  It was longer in my case, as I ended up taking the clever baby to the ER that night...when he gets croup he can't breathe, which is so scary!  Many hours later, including a breathing treatment and steroid dose, his airways were open and we came home.  Thus the cookies had to wait until the next day.  This mom needed sleep!  These cookies were a lovely reward after a scary night.

Anyway, first you mix together the peanut butter cookie dough in a typical cookie way, creaming the butter (and peanut butter in this case) and sugars together first, then on to the other liquids and then the dry ingredients.  Easy peasy.  Throw it in the refrigerator and go read a book or something.  Do not go to the ER.  That is just too much.

When the dough is nice and chilled, roll it into 1-inch round balls.  I must have made mine more like 3/4-inch balls, I guess.  Then roll each ball in a bowl of granulated sugar (I used vanilla sugar) and place on a baking sheet.

Bake the peanut butter balls at 375F for 8-10 minutes.  In the mean time, start unwrapping all of those candies!  I used dark chocolate kisses for this batch.  I had no idea that such a thing existed, but these days Hershey's makes kisses in a zillion varieties.  Choose your fave and go for it.  However, after making these cookies, I had a brilliant (in my humble opinion) revelation.  Around Valentine's Day, Dove chocolates comes out with heart-shaped dark chocolate candies.  You could use those, have a little heart-Valentine-love going on AND have the creamy perfection of Dove dark chocolate!  Now THAT would be heavenly.  Which is not to say that my cookies with Hershey's dark chocolate kisses aren't divine, they are.  But Dove???  Mmmm, that would be transcendent!

I digress.  When the cookies come out of the oven, IMMEDIATELY put a candy in the center of each one and push down gently.  Cool on a wire rack.  Bite into chocolate peanut butter perfection.

Peanut Butter Blossoms
adapted from Joy of Baking
yields anywhere from 4 to 6 dozen!

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup peanut butter, creamy or crunchy
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 TB milk
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
more white sugar for coating
1 package chocolate candies, unwrapped

Cream the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until smooth.  Add the peanut butter and sugars and beat until light and fluffy.  This will take 2-3 minutes.  Mix in the egg and vanilla extract.  Add in the milk.  In a separate medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and salt.  Add dry ingredients to the peanut butter mixture and mix until incorporated.  Cover and chill the batter for at least one hour.  It must be firm enough to roll into balls.

Center an oven rack and preheat your oven to 375F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.

Roll the batter into 3/4 to 1-inch round balls.  Place some granulated sugar or vanilla sugar into a small bowl and roll each ball in the sugar.  Place the balls on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart.

Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, until they are lightly browned.  While one sheet bakes, unwrap the candies and prepare the balls on the second cookie sheet.  When the cookies are finished baking, remove the pan from the oven and immediately place a chocolate candy in the center of each cookie.  Gently press down until the peanut butter cookie cracks a little.  Move the cookies to a wire rack to cool.
Printable Recipe

My cookies turned out bite-sized.  You know those "bite-sized" brownies you see in some grocery stores? Well, these were the bite-sized peanut butter blossoms.  Perfect.  Except.  Except they are so small, I can easily convince myself to have several.  In fact, I had a hard time walking through or near the kitchen at all and NOT having one of these.  Maybe I would have more self control if they were bigger?  Well, maybe not...

1 comment:

  1. Yummy! My recipe has you remove the cookies just before they are done, add the kiss, and finish baking the cookies. I think the kiss stays in place better this way.


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