Recipe: Peanut Butter Blossoms

At noon today, it was snowing out, but I was packed up and ready to go spend the weekend with my cousin and her fiancé  in Maryland. I crept down the driveway in my car, inched down the slush-and-snow covered hill leading out of my neighborhood, pulled out onto the main road…and then promptly decided that taking a four hour trip in “winter weather advisory” conditions was probably not the best idea. I have high hopes that the roads and weather will be better by tomorrow so I can still go on my trip, but for today, I’m stuck home with the cats (the oldest are napping, while the two little ones are suffering from a particularly bad case of cabin fever), hanging out in my PJs and wondering if there will be any good movies on TV tonight. Frustrated and looking to keep myself busy on such a cold, dreary day, I decided to bake, and for no particular reason, I decided to make peanut butter blossoms. I’ve never made them before, but they are a classic cookie with a classic flavor combination—peanut butter and chocolate—that I’ve always enjoyed. My mom absolutely loves these cookies—any time one of her friends has them at a party or she takes home a handful from a luncheon, they’re “hers” and I get maybe one for myself, so I’m excited to have a whole batch for the both of us.

Yields: Approx. 48 cookies
Prep. time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 8-10 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Special equipment: Electric mixer with paddle attachment

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar, plus 1/4 cup for rolling on the cookies
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened (I used salted butter, because it’s what we had, but unsalted should work too)
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (I used Jif brand)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1&3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 48 Hershey Kisses, unwrapped

Directions
Preheat the oven to 375*F. In a bowl, combine the 1/2 cup sugar, brown sugar, peanut butter, and butter and beat at medium speed in an electric mixer (or by hand, if need be) until well-blended and fluffy. Add the egg, salt, and vanilla and continue to beat at medium speed until well-mixed. Add the baking soda and flour and continue to beat until well-blended. The dough will be smooth, soft, and peanut butter-colored. Roll pieces of the cookie dough (approx. 48 total) around in the palms of your hand to form one inch round balls. Roll the balls in the 1/4 cup sugar and place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the dough has start to expand, crack a little bit, and turn ever-so-slightly golden-brown (if you let them cook too much, you will end up flattening out the cookies when you press the Hershey Kisses in them later). Remove from the oven and immediately press one Hershey Kiss into the center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheets and cool completely on wire racks (the chocolate will get melty all the way through, so be sure you let them cool completely so you don’t smear or smush the chocolate when you put the cookies away). Store the cookies in an airtight container.
These cookies are so easy to make and you probably have all of the ingredients at home already. They’ve got that great classic combination of peanut butter and chocolate, and the texture—chewy-crunchy cookies with crispy sugar granules and smooth chocolate—is delicious. These are perfect with a glass of cold milk or a mug of hot chocolate. 
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