Perfect Peanut Butter Blossoms.
So, this may not be as exciting as cake batter bark, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret.
When it comes to peanut butter blossoms, I always use the recipe on the back of the Hershey Kiss bag. Always.
And I really had no intentions of sharing said recipe with you, because while it is my favorite cookie of all time, it’s so well known that I figured most of you had the recipe. And if you didn’t, it’s only a drive to the grocery store away.
But then I posted my holiday baking list and had over one hundred requests for “my” peanut butter blossom recipe. Really?!
So there you have it – my recipe comes from the back of the bag!
But do you know who’s didn’t? Mother Lovett’s. I don’t know if I mentioned it before, but I would help Mother Lovett bake Christmas cookies every year. Not because she wanted my help. But because she was blind and deaf and unless we wanted charred rocks on Christmas Eve, someone needed to be there to hear the oven timer go off.
Peanut Butter Blossoms were especially tricky, because you had to hear the timer go off the first time to push the kisses in, then the second time to remove the cookies to cool.
This never went well for Mother Lovett, who often ended up with crisp, burnt peanut butter slabs with puddles of chocolate in the middle.
Every year, even though we had a bag of Kisses ready to go, she’d search high and low for that recipe. We couldn’t possibly just use the one of the bag, the one right in front of us. Just like some of her others, it is typewriter-typed on a yellowed index card, with a note on the back, “I got 49 cookies in 1999.” That is often how she kept track of how many cookies each batch yielded.
Don’t you just want to dive into that batter?
So here’s the deal. Most peanut butter blossom recipes call for shortening. I do have shortening, but I know that many of you don’t. And why buy it for one recipe? I knew that somewhere along the way I had made these with butter before, so I tried them out with butter and it worked perfectly.
Mother Lovett kept most of her cookies stored in the garage, in tattered, worn Horne’s or Kaufmann’s boxes with reused foil and saran wrap. It may sound disturbing, but she kept everything fairly clean – it was that whole depression era thing. Sometimes I wish I caught that gene as I can be so wasteful.
Every December, after the cookies were baked and stored in the garage, it was a race to see which grandchild got into the boxes first. I remember entering her house through the garage and suspiciously opening the peanut butter blossom box, careful not to disturb her perfect wrapping, grabbing a handful of cookies, lowering the box lid and darting up the stairs. Many times the peanut butter blossoms didn’t even make it to Christmas Eve.
Make sure you leave some out for Santa!
Peanut Butter Blossoms
makes approximately 48 cookies
2 sticks butter, softened
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup sugar, for rolling
2 bags Hershey Kisses (you only need ~48), unwrapped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cream butter and peanut butter together until smooth. Add sugars and cream for 2-3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. Stir in vanilla. Add flour, baking soda and salt, just mixing until combined, then add in milk. Cover and refrigerate dough for 30 minutes or up to 2 days.
Roll cookies into 1 inch balls and roll in sugar. Lay on baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake at 375 for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and push Kiss down into the middle of each cookie. Return to oven and bake for 2 1/2 more minutes. Remove and let cool completely.
Now for the real question. If you could only choose ONE cookie to make this holiday season, which would it be? This would be mine. Hands down.