Chunky & Dark: New Twist for an Old Favorite

I know, I know ... Christmas is over and my Christmas swap cookies are long gone. But there was one traditional gem that nobody made this year. It just didn't set right with me not to have a few peanut blossoms on that cookie tray.

So I broke down, prowling the candy aisle at Stop & Shop for Hershey Kisses this morning. Horror of horrors, the shelf was bare of the milk chocolate kind. But the holiday wrapped dark chocolate variety was half price. I decided to go with the flow and try something new and I am very glad that I did. Mmm... mmm... good!

BLACK-EYED PEANUT BLOSSOMS
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup chunky peanut butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
Dash of salt
1 ¾ cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup granular (brownulated) brown sugar (raw crystallized sugar works well too)
24 dark chocolate candy kisses, unwrapped

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine 1/2 cup sugar, brown sugar, butter and peanut butter in large bowl. Beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla and salt; continue beating until well mixed. Add flour and baking soda. Continue beating, scraping bowl often, until stiff dough forms. Shape dough into 1½ inch balls. (If dough is too soft, refrigerate 20 to 30 minutes.)

Roll balls in 1/4 cup brownulated sugar. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until very lightly golden brown. Immediately press one dark chocolate kiss in center of each cookie. Let sit one minute before moving cookies to cool completely on wire racks. Makes two dozen cookies.

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