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Nothing says Christmas like peanut butter blossom cookies. Each sweet little morsel consists of a chewy, sugar-coated peanut butter cookie with a Hershey Chocolate Kiss pressed and baked into the center. Simple, delicious, and cute as a button.
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These peanut butter blossom cookies have been a staple in my husband’s family since he was a child. In fact, they have been all the rage in many American households around Christmas time since their invention in 1957. They are the perfect little two-bite dessert.
Chewy, just-sweet-enough peanut butter cookies that have been rolled in granulated sugar serve as the base. Fresh out of the oven, the cookies are topped with a Hershey Chocolate Kiss placed directly in the center. The kiss melts into the cookie just enough but still maintains its shape, creating an adorable dessert.
The peanut butter-chocolate combo is out of this world. They are pretty easy to make, too. Bring them to your next holiday bash!
Why Are They Called Peanut Butter Blossoms?
Peanut butter blossom cookies are named such because they reminded their inventors of black-eyed Susans, flowers with yellow petals and a deep brown center…blossoms! The cookies were, in fact, originally called Black Eyed Susans until they won the Pillsbury Bake-Off contest in 1957, after which Pillsbury gave them their current name.
What You’ll Need
Here is a list of the ingredients you will need to make these cookies. You might have most of them in your pantry already! Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the post to see the full recipe.
- Creamy peanut butter. I have tried chunky and it just doesn’t turn out quite right.
- Granulated sugar
- Light brown sugar
- All-purpose flour. If you are gluten intolerant, feel free to substitute your favorite 1:1 gluten-free flour.
- Baking soda
- Milk. If you are dairy free, try a neutral, dairy-free milk alternative such as unsweetened almond milk.
- Vanilla extract
- Hershey Chocolate Kisses
Peanut butter blossom cookies have been around for quite a while. Over the years, many have put their own spin on the classic. Here are some of my favorites.
- Chocolate Peppermint Kiss Cookies. A chocolate cookie with a peppermint Hershey Kiss.
- Sugar Cookie Candy Cane Blossoms. A sugar cookie with a peppermint Hershey Kiss.
- Gingerbread Kiss Cookies. A chewy ginger cookie with a chocolate stripped (white chocolate and milk chocolate!) Hershey Kiss.
- Chocolate Hazelnut Smooches. Nutella cookies with a classic Hershey Chocolate Kiss.
How to Make Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies
These peanut butter blossoms are quite simple to make. In just a few steps, you will have a holiday classic that will fly off the cookie tray. Here is a rundown on how to do it. For the full, more detailed recipe, please scroll to the bottom of this post.
- Mix the dry ingredients. Place the flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
- Combine the wet ingredients. Use a standup mixer to combine the butter, peanut butter, and sugars. Once you have reached a fluffy consistency, beat in the egg, milk, and vanilla extract.
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Just until incorporated. Do not over-mix.
- Form dough balls. Scoop dough into even balls using a medium cookie scoop. Roll each portion lightly between your hands to create a uniform ball.
- Coat dough balls in sugar. Roll each formed dough ball in granulated sugar. I like to put the sugar in a small bowl first.
- Bake. Place the sugar-coated dough balls on a lined cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees F.
- Add the kisses. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and plop a Hershey Kiss in the center of each cookie. Allow the cookies to cool as they are for 15-20 before transferring them to a wire wrack.
Tips for Success
As with any recipe, there are a few tips and tricks you can follow that will set you up for success. Here they are mine.
- Chill the cookie dough. Unchilled cookie dough is more likely to spread on the baking sheet. You want these cookies to keep a perky shape. So, if you have time, cover the dough with saran wrap and chill it in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before forming balls.
- Use a cookie scoop. It might be tempting to use your hands to shape the cookie dough into balls. This will lead to unevenly sized cookies with varying bake times. Use a scoop to avoid this problem.
- Chill the chocolate kisses. Not only will they be easier to unwrap, but they will hold their shape when placed on the fresh-out-of-the-oven cookies.
- Go for gold. In order to get that perfect cracked cookie top, make sure to allow the cookies to bake long enough before pressing the kisses into them. Look for a slight golden brown around the edges. Don’t bake for too long though! See my notes below on how to avoid dry, crumbly peanut butter cookies.
Why Are My Peanut Butter Blossoms Dry?
Dry, fall-y-apart-y peanut butter cookies are a classic pit that many fall into when making these peanut butter blossom cookies. It’s easy to do. Try to avoid these common mistakes.
- Too much flour. The dough for this recipe should be quite moist. A common mistake is to think it is too moist and to compensate by adding extra flour. Resist the temptation. If you have used the prescribed amount of flour and find that the dough seems dry, feel free to add a splash of milk.
- Over-mixing. As a general rule, over-mixing any dough or batter is likely to land you with a dry, dense finished product. So, when combining the wet and dry ingredients, mix just enough for the ingredients to incorporate.
- Over-baking. Peanut butter cookies are deceptive in that it is challenging to tell when they are done. It is best to take them out of the oven just before you think you should. They will continue to bake and will firm up significantly once out of the oven.
I highly doubt you will have leftovers at the end of the day but if you do, these peanut butter blossom cookies are easy to store. Allow the cookies to cool to room temperature before placing them in an airtight container. Keep them on the counter out of the sun. They will stay deliciously edible for up to 5 days. Do NOT refrigerate these cookies. They will dry out.
Can I Freeze These Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies?
Yes! You can freeze the dough before baking if you are craving fresh-baked cookies OR you can freeze the finished product to save for later.
- Freezing the dough. Scoop the dough into balls, roll them in sugar, and arrange them in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Flash-freeze the dough balls for 30 minutes before transferring them to an airtight container and storing them in the freezer for up to 2 months. You can then bake them directly from frozen. Budget for a couple extra minutes in the oven.
- Freezing finished cookies. Allow the cookies to cool to room temperature before placing them in a ziplock bag or an airtight container lined with plastic wrap. Store them in the freezer for up to 2 months. ready to enjoy? Remove them from the freezer and allow them to thaw at room temperature.
More Christmas Cookie Recipes
Fa-la-la-la-la! ‘Tis the season for Christmas cookies. These peanut butter blossoms are an all-time favorite, but there are so many other options out there. Here are a few that hit home for me.
- Peppermint White Chocolate Cookies
- Snowball Cookies
- Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies
- Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies
- Soft and Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies
Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies
- ½ cup (114 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup (129 g) creamy peanut butter
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
- ½ cup (110 g) light brown sugar, packed
- 1 ¾ cup (219 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 36 unwrapped chocolate Hershey kisses
- Preheat oven to 350 °F (177 °C) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, peanut butter, and sugars until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Add the egg, milk, and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated.
- Carefully add the dry ingredients until cookie dough forms.
- Pour 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a small bowl.
- Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop dough and roll into a ball. Then roll in sugar and place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all cookie dough has been used up.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes then remove from oven and immediately place a Hershey kiss in the center of the cookie. Let cool for 15-20 minutes then carefully move cookies to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
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