Friday, June 19, 2009

an old favorite: peanut butter-hershey kiss cookies

My sister and brother-in-law called, last minute, to say they were coming to town for the day (from northern CA!). We persuaded them to stay overnight and hang out a little longer, which was great. In an effort to keep the kids sane (read: distract them) the afternoon before Mer and Pax arrived, we decided to make peanut butter-Hershey Kiss cookies, which are one of her favorites. Bonus fact: my parents were coming over for brunch the next day, and these are totally my mom's favorites. The kids measured and ran the mixer, and I steadfastly ignored spilled flour. They actually did a great job!

The pb cookie recipe is from Joy of Cooking. I have a million-year-old, two-volume, paperback edition, but I don't think the recipe ever changes. With all the pb recipes I have tried, these are tried and true. They also work well just as plain pb cookies, and I press them down either with a fork, in a cross-hatch pattern, or using a potato masher, which makes a pretty pattern. But the best way is to bake them, then remove them from the oven and immediately press a Kiss into the center of each cookie.

Peanut Butter-Hershey Kiss Cookies
1 1/2 cups (6 3/8 ounces) flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup (5 1/3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar, plus more for rolling cookies
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup peanut butter, smooth! or chunky :-(
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 bag Hershey's kisses (I just use milk chocolate; presumably, you could use any flavor you think would nicely accompany peanut butter)

Preheat oven to 350F. (I know pb cookies are usually 375, but that's usually too hot for me.) Line cookie sheets with parchment or a silpat.

Whisk together flour and baking soda. In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar until well blended. Beat in egg, peanut butter, and vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture until blended.

Here's where we went into assembly line-mode. I scooped the dough, handed each scoop to the Wub, who shaped it into 1-inch balls, and she handed it to Boy-o, who rolled each ball in sugar. Josh helped him arrange them about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets.

If you are going to add Hershey Kisses, just pop the trays in the oven at this point. If you're going chocolate-free (and why would you?), press each ball flat with a fork or potato masher. Bake, one sheet at a time, about 10 to 12 minutes, erring on the side of slightly underbaking. I usually check them after 8 or 9 minutes. You want them to be starting to get firm on the tops and very light golden brown. Remove from the oven and, if adding Kisses, immediately press an unwrapped (do I have to say that?) Kiss into the center of each cookie. Let them stand briefly, then remove to a rack to cool.

Try to control yourself and do not eat the entire batch in one sitting.


Sandra Dee said...

We just came back from Hershey Park and these look DELISH!!! I could eat them all up :-)

meredith said...

thanks again...they were YUMMY!