Peanut Butter Blossoms – sometimes known as Hershey Kiss Cookies or Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies – are the perfect classic holiday cookie to make with kids or bring to a cookie exchange.
Long-time readers know that I used to teach school full time – more specifically junior high.
I found myself with an extra period each Friday and had to figure out something to do with the 50 minutes that would both keep the kids busy and force them to interact with each other in a positive manner.
I remember sitting at the computer when it hit me – I could have them cook and bake together.
I quickly pretty much relinquished all control over what we cooked and baked to my students. I allowed them to choose the recipes, create the shopping lists and make the dish from start to finish (minus any knife work).
Although I was a little bit nervous with the whole process, the students displayed an amazing amount of teamwork and enthusiasm – honestly, I couldn’t have been more proud of them.
During the holidays, we decided to make Peanut Butter Blossom cookies. I thought there was no more perfect time of year to introduce them to this classic chocolate-peanut butter cookie.
Even though I haven’t taught full-time in years, I’m still grateful for the opportunity to allow my students to channel their creativity and curiosity in a positive way. I hope they still remember making Peanut Butter Blossoms together and taking them home to share with their families.
WHAT ARE PEANUT BUTTER BLOSSOMS?
I think that just about anyone who has ever been to a holiday cookie exchange has at least seen, if not eaten, Peanut Butter Blossoms.
They’re a holiday staple!
The name might change – I have heard them called Hershey Kiss Cookies, Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies, and even Chocolate Kiss Thumbprint Cookies – but the cookie itself stays the same:
A peanut butter-flavored sugar cookie with a chocolate kiss pressed into the middle.
The dough is essentially a simple no-chill sugar cookie dough with peanut butter added to it. As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, a Hershey Kiss gets pressed into the top.
As the cookies cool, the chocolate hardens and the cookie holds its shape around the kiss, holding it in place and creating the perfect chocolate-peanut butter bite.
Looking for something with EXTRA peanut butter? Try Peanut Butter Cup Cookies!
HOW TO MAKE PEANUT BUTTER BLOSSOMS
Like all of our baking recipes, start these cookies by getting your ingredients ready:
- 1 cup shortening
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar, plus ½ cup for rolling the cookies
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 (9 ounce) bags milk chocolate candy kisses, unwrapped
In a large bowl, cream together the shortening, peanut butter, brown sugar, and 1 cup of the granulated sugar until smooth. Then add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the milk and the vanilla.
Separately, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add this to the peanut butter mixture until well combined.
Scoop up tablespoons of the dough and roll them into balls. Roll each ball into the remaining granulated sugar and place them 2 inches apart on lined baking sheets.
While this entire recipe is easy for kids to help make, they really love to help with shaping and rolling the dough balls!
Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes. As soon as you remove them from the oven, carefully press a chocolate kiss into the top of each cookie.
Remember that the cookies are hot, so be careful with this step, especially if you have little hands helping you.
Let the cookies cool completely before serving or boxing up to gift to a neighbor or loved one.
If you or someone you know has a peanut allergy, you might be wondering how you can make these Hershey Kiss cookies without peanut butter.
Sunflower seed butter, aka Sunbutter, is a great substitute for peanut butter in recipes. It has a similar texture and flavor to peanut butter but without the nuts and should work just fine in this recipe.
If you are allergic to peanuts but still able to have tree nuts, you can give my Chocolate Almond Kiss Cookies a try. They use almonds instead of peanut butter for a slightly different seasonal flair.
Or make Candy Cane Kiss Cookies or an entirely chocolate-free version!
Even though the original recipe uses milk chocolate kisses, you can swap in any type of Hershey’s Kiss that you like – dark chocolate, caramel, hot cocoa, white chocolate..the options are endless!
STORAGE AND FREEZING TIPS
Store Peanut Butter Blossoms in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Because they don’t need to be refrigerated and will stay good for a few days, they are perfect for taking to a cookie exchange or even overnighting to friends and family.
You can also freeze these cookies! Follow my steps for how to freeze cookie dough to freeze the dough balls and bake off as many as you like whenever you like.
Alternatively, package up the baked cookies in airtight containers and freeze them for up to a month. Let them come to room temperature before serving on a cookie platter alongside other holiday favorites such as Chocolate Crinkle Cookies, Peppermint Oreo Balls, and Snowball Cookies.