Saturday, November 22, 2008

Christmas Cookie Classic: Peanut Butter Blossoms

This is one of those quintessential cookie recipes that holds special childhood memories. No frills ingredients, simple presentation and well worth every effort. Every year Brad asks for peanut butter cookies, and every year I make these because I don't like peanut butter cookies. I am such a great wife.

These cookies freeze really well, so they are great for your growing stash of Christmas cookies!

Ingredients: 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 cup packed brown sugar, 1 cup butter flavored shortening, 1 cup peanut butter, 2 eggs, 1/4 cup milk, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 3-1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 package (11 oz) of Hershey's Kisses + additional sugar.

First, let's cream together the 1 cup of butter flavored shortening, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 cup of peanut butter. If you are going to bake these today, you will need to preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Then add the 2 eggs, 1/4 cup of milk and 2 teaspoons of vanilla. Beat well until all ingredients are incorporated.

Pretty, isn't it? Now for the most dreaded of tasks...

... the sifting of the dry ingredients. Sift together the 3-1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, 2 tsp. baking soda and 1 tsp. flour. I know, I know. It takes time and is really boring. However, your cookies will thank you. Trust me.

Add the dry ingredients to the peanut butter mixture.

Mix until the ingredients are well incorporated. Don't over mix the dough. You can always pull it together with a few swipes of your spoon.

There is no need to chill the dough, you can continue on from here. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls. Once you have rolled out all of the dough, then you will need to roll the balls in granulated sugar.

If you are freezing the dough for later use, roll the dough into 1 inch balls. Freeze them individually on a plate or cookie sheet.

Once they are individually frozen you can transfer them to a Ziploc bag for storage in your freezer. The dough will last up to 3 months! When you are ready to bake them, pull the cookies out of the freezer and set on the counter for an hour. Then you can continue on as if you had just made the dough.

If you are lucky enough to have a helper with these cookies, there are a few choice jobs that are perfect for little fingers. They can unwrap the Hershey's Kisses. Watch out, though, these little helpers are particularly nefarious and will try to eat your chocolate.

Little fingers love shaking things, especially when there is sugar involved. If you are daring and decide that a 3-year-old makes an excellent sous chef, make sure that the lid is secured before the shaking commences. Sugar is not so easy to clean out of the grooves of a hard wood floor. I'm just saying.

Ah, sugar.

Once the balls have been covered in granulated sugar, place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven. Place a Hershey's Kiss in the center of each cookie. Press the Kiss firmly into the center. Return the cookies to the oven and bake for 3 minutes longer.

Voila! Peanut Butter Blossoms.

Need more recipes for freeze-ahead baking? How about some Candy Cane Blossoms? Or maybe some Rolo Cookies. Or you could check back later for more recipes! Happy Baking!


Vicki said...

Those "little helpers" are the best by far! Love your instruction pics and the candy cane cookies too!

hydee said...

Thanks for posting and sharing these recipes I am totally going to make these.(my hubby loves pb cookies,I hate pb.Yuck) and the ones from yesterday are so pretty. Thanks

shopgirlaudi said...

Mmmm...cookies. I am trying to be good, but cookies make it so hard;)The holidays are NOT a good time to diet:(

3left Feet said...

wow they look perfect!

Ahem!! kids do make great slaves.. I mean sous chefs! JK.. gosh...

A cookie, any cookie is a great thing! Ok that soundes very Martha Stewart, but you've got her cookies beat by a mile! woot! :)

Lal said...

Aww, look at Maddux! What a great little helper!! I love his shirt too!

Elizabeth said...

My mom makes these cookies... yummy!

Patrizzia said...

Oh these are just my favorite. Being Italian we NEVER had fun cookies like this growing up. We had this nut cookie and that nut cookie but nothing with a yummy kiss on top. I was about to make these tonight but we did not have any kisses and I am fresh out of vanilla extract.


Amanda Sevall said...

hee hee! Little helpers are the BEST! Love these cookie recipes.... you're making me sooo hungry... :)

Maria said...

I made these last Christmas and they were a HUGE hit. I'm making them again this year, but altering the recipe just a smidge. Instead of Hershey Kisses, I'm going to use mini Reese's peanut butter cups. We shall see how they turn out...