Peanut Blossom Cookies are a peanut
butter cookie with a Hershey's Chocolate Kiss sitting happily on top.
Some say these cookies resemble little hats and, in fact, Maida Heatter
tells us in her excellent book "Maida Heatter's Cookies" that this recipe is an "old
American recipe that is sometimes called Sombreros".
Peanut Blossoms couldn't be more American; combining two of our
favorites; peanut butter and Hershey's Kisses. Both have been with us
since the early 1900s but how they exactly came together in this cookie,
we do not know. The theory is that the recipe must have been invented by
home economists in the Hershey's Test Kitchen. I did try to confirm this
by going to Hershey's website, but while they do have a recipe for Peanut
Blossoms, they give no clue as to their origin. While I was on their
website I did find some interesting facts about Hershey's Kisses. These
individually foil wrapped, bite sized chocolate Kisses were invented in
1907 and Hershey's tells us that "while it's not known exactly how KISSES
got their name, it is a popular theory that the candy was named for the
sound or motion of the chocolate being deposited during the manufacturing
process". Today Hershey's makes 80 million Kisses each day and besides
Milk Chocolate Kisses, there are Kisses with Almonds, Hugs Chocolates
(used here), Kisses filled with Caramel, Kisses filled with Peanut Butter,
and even Kisses filled with Chocolate Truffle.
these cookies, the unwrapped Kisses are
placed on top of the peanut butter cookies immediately after baking. Be
sure to press the Kiss gently but firmly into each cookie just until you see the cookie
start to crack. That way the Kiss will stand upright. These are great
anytime of the year and I do not know who enjoys them more, kids or
Peanut butter is a smooth paste made from roasted peanuts. The peanuts are
ground, and then salt, a sweetener, and sometimes a stabilizer (to keep
the oil from separating) are added. There are two types of peanut butter,
and the one that is labeled "Old-Fashioned" or "Natural" does not contain
a stabilizer which means the peanut butter will separate and you will have
to stir the peanut butter before using. Also, there are now peanut butters
on the market that do not contain trans fats. Some people may want to check the list of ingredients
when buying peanut butter
to see if trans fats are listed
(labeled as "partially hydrogenated oil" or "hydrogenated oil"). Trans fat
or trans fatty acids are unhealthy fats as they are thought to cause
heart disease (raise bad LDL cholesterol, increase triglyceride levels, and lower good HDL
Cookies: Line three baking sheets with parchment paper.
In the bowl of
your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until creamy and
smooth. Add the peanut
butter and sugars and beat until
light and fluffy (about 2 - 3 minutes). Add the egg and vanilla extract
and beat to combine. Beat in the milk. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking
soda, and salt. Add to the peanut butter mixture and beat until
incorporated. Cover and chill the batter for about an hour, or until firm enough
to roll into balls.
Preheat oven to
375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven.
Roll the batter
into 1 inch (2.5) round balls. Place the granulated white sugar in a shallow
bowl and roll each ball in the sugar. Place on the prepared baking
sheet, spacing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart.
Bake the cookies for
about 8 - 10 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly browned. Immediately upon removing the cookies from the oven,
place a unwrapped Chocolate Kiss into the center of each
cookie, pressing down gently until the cookie just starts to crack. Cool completely on a wire rack.
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