December 03, 2012
So it begins: Day 1 of our 20 Days of Christmas Cookies! We know we have frolicked away from pairing our dishes with delicious brews, but don’t worry there will be some beer reviews on the way in the next week. We just don’t find pairing cookies with beer very successful. It will be well worth it, I promise. Zach has some great reviews cooked up for you guys. *Cough Cough* 5 Golden Rings from The Bruery *Cough Cough*. Anyway, we are going ahead and starting with one of the most traditional cookies you can think of for Christmas cookie baking, and that is the Peanut Butter Blossom. We’ve decided to spice it up a little bit though and make three different varieties. We went with your traditional peanut butter, then did an almond butter edition and then took it one step further and did a 1/2 nutella 1/2 peanut butter edition. Each one was spectacular in it’s own.
Well it is in fact that time of year again. I find the most enjoyment in making cookies around the holidays. Who doesn’t? If you can find the patience to go along with the hard work that is baking cookies from scratch, it can be very rewarding and therapeutic. There are so many different kinds of Christmas cookies bakers have cooked up that it can be overwhelming at times. My advice would be to start with something simple, like we have with Peanut Butter Blossoms. If you would like to elevate the recipe a little bit, try to change up a few of the ingredients in a dozen or two. If they don’t come out perfect the first time, you can always give it another shot. Case in point, they will probably be delicious no matter what, since really anything with sugar is delicious. Right?
We took your traditional Peanut Butter Blossom recipe and made a few different variations. I honestly love them how they are. They are one of the easiest cookies you can make from scratch, and I believe one of the tastiest. They don’t cost very much to make and they don’t take very much time either. If you are looking for an easy one, this is the recipe for you.
We stepped it up a notch though. We did make your everyday blossoms with peanut butter, and the recipe is provided. You can really enhance this dish though by just changing one ingredient: the peanut butter. Substitute for almond butter, cashew butter or walnut butter. Each and every one can be special. We went with almond butter for a substitution and they came out amazing. They almost have an earthy taste to them! Replace your traditional milk chocolate kiss for one with an almond inside, and oh my, you may as well win the Nobel Peace Prize.
I’ve had the chocolate variety of this recipe before, and well, yeah…it’s pretty much what you would think: heaven in a cookie. I wanted to change it up though. Instead of using all peanut butter, we replaced 1/2 of the portion size of peanut butter for Nutella. This is an important step to follow. You don’t want to substitute for 100% Nutella. It’s not as dense as peanut butter, and your cookies may as well just turn into a ball of mush. Even my first batch came out a little flat (as you can see in the photos). Next time, I’m thinking to add a touch more peanut butter. These were my favorite in the end. They are currently hiding in the deep nook of my refrigerator =).
We know many of you may be stressed about the fast approaching deadline that is Christmas Day or another holiday that you may happen to celebrate, but there is no need. If you are up to your eyeballs in trying to figure out what to get Fred, 3 cubicles down from you, for the holidays because he’s your secret santa, think about giving a batch of cookies. They are sure to please just about anyone and you don’t have to stress!
We are so excited to start our 20 days of Christmas Cookies escapade. Hope everyone had a great weekend!
- ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup pure cane granulated sugar
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter (or almond butter or ¼ cup nutella and ¼ cup peanut butter)
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
- 1 egg (room temperature)
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1¾ cup all-purpose flour, sifted
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda, sifted
- ½ teaspoon baking powder, sifted
- ¼ cup pure cane granulated sugar (for rolling)
- 12 Hershey Kisses© (milk chocolate), cold
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and situate an oven rack to the very center of the oven.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or hand mixer) fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, egg, peanut butter (or almond butter for the almond butter variety and ¼ nutella/1/4 peanut butter for the nutella variety) and vanilla extract. Beat at medium speed until just combined.
- In a smaller bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda.
- Fix the speed on your stand mixer to the lowest setting, and add the dry mixture in ½ cup increments until completely combined.
- Now start rolling your cookie dough balls. Roll into 1 inch balls, and roll in the extra granulated sugar until coated completely. Set the balls on an ungreased cookie sheet situated about 2 inches apart.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 9-10 minutes. Remove immediately from oven and place the Hersey Kisses© directly in the center of each cookie.
- Remove immediately from the cookies tray and place on a wire rack to cool until kisses are completely solid.