Monday, December 23, 2013

Peanut Butter Kiss cookies

We love these cookies at my house.  Whats not to like, peanut butter and chocolate.  Can it get any better?

This recipe has been in our family since as long as I can remember.  Not sure where my Ma got it, but its a keeper, with a few tweaks.

My Aunt Anna Mae was quite the baker and turned me on to using Crisco instead of margarine or butter.  It bakes better as it doesn't have a lot of water in it to muck up the crumb and crispy outside.  I took it a step further and used butter flavor Crisco and makes a big difference in the cookie.

The other tweak I gave it was to roll the unbaked cookie in turbinado or raw sugar.  It adds a nice crackly crunch to the cookie as well as a deeper, richer dark sugar flavor.

There are two schools of thought as to when you put in  your chocolate kiss.  I learned doing them before baking but that yielded a funky texture at times to the kiss itself.  My daughter, par-bakes the cookie then plops the kiss in place and finishes baking them that way...the end result is a kiss that holds its shape and has a nice smooth texture still.  I go that route now.

Even with all the Crisco and fat from the peanut butter you do need to bake these cookies on a silpat or a parchment lined baking sheet.  The turbinado sugar will  stick to the pan if you don't use a silpat or parchment paper.  Using either of these prevents sticking cookies that are mangled when you take them off the sheet.

The last trick I have up my sleeve is I use a small #30 scoop to ensure uniform sizes and even baking of all the cookies. A #30 scoop is just about 2 tablespoons of dough.

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

  • 60 chocolate kisses, unwrapped
  • 2 1/2 c packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 c creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 c milk
  • 2 T vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 1/2 c all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
  • Turbinado Sugar

Preheat oven to 375F.  Line cookie sheets with silpat or parchment paper.

Cream together Crisco, peanut butter, milk, brown sugar and salt.  When light and fluffy beat in eggs and vanilla.  

Sift together flour and baking soda.  With mixer on low slowly spoon in flour a quarter cup at a time until all incorporated.  Do not over beat as you will have a tough cookie.

Scoop dough and form into balls.  Roll into a ball and toss lightly in turbinado sugar.  Place on prepared baking sheet.  Place balls about 3 inches apart to allow for spreading. 

Bake cookies 8 minutes then remove from oven.  Take one chocolate kiss and place in center of cookie pressing it in nearly to the cookie sheet.  Repeat with all the cookies until the sheet is complete.  Return to oven and bake 3-4 minutes longer until the cookie is a light brown.

Cool 3-4 minutes before removing from sheet pan to wire racks to compete cooling.  When cooled store in airtight container, separating layers of cookie with wax paper.
Cookie dough rolled in sugar on a silpat sheet ready for their first baking.

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