December 17: Peanut Butter Blossoms

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I woke up at an ungodly hour this morning. Actually, I’m not sure I ever fell asleep last night. Either way, I was up to see the sunrise. I wrapped presents in the dark. I organized my shoe rack. And then at 7 a.m., I decided it was a perfectly acceptable time to make cookies. 

About 10 minutes after sunrise. This is not something I normally see.

So, as my children were starting to get up for school, I was creaming together shortening and peanut butter. Because my loathe of mornings is something to be taken quite seriously, I think I alarmed all my kids. “Mom, are you okay?” I heard about a dozen times before they left for school.

I think by now we all know the deal with Peanut Butter Blossoms. It’s a peanut butter cookie that you stick a Hershey Kiss in the middle of when they come out of the oven. I used the traditional Hershey recipe, and as always, it’s posted at the end of this entry. 

However, when it came to the part where you roll it in sugar, I wanted to try something fun. I got out my red sugar and green sugar, and rolled them in that instead, just to make them more Christmas-y. I did this last year with Snickerdoodles, and that worked like gangbusters, so why not try with these?

Obviously, the pattern is for all of you. Although, I only took one picture of a tray, and I did the same alternating pattern on the next tray too, so maybe it’s not just about you. 

And as I drank my morning coffee, I was unwrapping Kisses. I remember one year I was doing this while drinking spiced wine at night. It was almost the same, minus the delightful buzz.

I was almost done baking when my daughter texted me, asking if I could bring her eyedrops to school (don’t ask), so I took it as the perfect opportunity to pack up some cookies for the office staff at the middle school. For as much time as I spend there, I need my own parking space and a place on payroll. 

I get asked a lot what I do with all the cookies. I do this. Teachers, neighbors, mailmen, friends…and whatever is left, I bring to my family Christmas at my dad’s house. 

Officially, I was done with cookies at 8 a.m. this morning. I feel like a Marine, only way less important and with way more sprinkles at my disposal.

Peanut Butter Blossoms

(courtesy of Hershey’s)

INGREDIENTS

  • 48 HERSHEY’S KISSES Brand Milk Chocolates 
  • 1/2 cup shortening 
  • 3/4 cup REESE’S Creamy Peanut Butter 
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar 
  • 1 egg 
  • 2 tablespoons milk 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/3 cup additional granulated sugar for rolling

DIRECTIONS

  • 1. Heat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from chocolates.
  • 2. Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.
  • 3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.
  • 4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each cookie; cookie will crack around edges. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Makes 48 cookies.

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