Favorite cookies: Chocolate Suzies

Isn’t it funny the ways you stumble on recipes that become your favorites? This one actually came from my fourth grade teacher, who’s first name was Sue. I guess she must have made them for the students one time, and then we recreated them at home.

This is really more of a technique than a recipe. You need a mini muffin pan and some adorable muffin liners like these.

One classic Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip cookie recipe. Only for this one you’ll want to use mini chocolate chips.

And one bag of Reese’s mini peanut butter cups.

Unwrap all the peanut butter cups first. This way they’ll be ready when you need them (and you have to act fast before the cookies start to harden).

Preheat the oven while you make the cookie dough. Put a heaping teaspoon of cookie dough into each muffin liner. Resist the urge to make them too full. They’ll overflow when you squish the candy in. I might have overdone it just a bit this time…

Bake the cookies for 8-9 minutes and check them to see if they’re puffed up and just starting to get golden brown. At this point, remove them from the oven, press a peanut butter cup into the center of each one, and return to the oven for another minute or two of baking. When the cookies come out they should just be starting to get crispy on top and the candy should be nice and melty.

These cookies are so rich and indulgent. If you don’t love them you are not human.

Favorite cookies: Peanut blossoms

These cookies might be the ones that remind me most of holiday baking from my childhood. I can’t think of a year we didn’t make them. I don’t really like plain Hershey kisses, but there is something about biting the Kiss out of the center of a peanut blossom that I can’t resist.

This time I fancied up the recipe a bit by using crunchy raw sugar crystals and dark chocolate Kisses. But feel free to use regular sugar and milk chocolate Kisses, as we always did.

Peanut Blossoms
(you may want to double this recipe, by the way)

1 3/4 cup sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 bag Hershey Kisses

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Start by unwrapping about 3 dozen Hershey Kisses.

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. In a separate bowl cream butter and peanut butter. Mix in the sugars, then add the egg and the vanilla.

Slowly blend in dry ingredients until the dough is sturdy enough to form a ball.

Pinch off pieces of cookie dough and roll them into 1-inch balls. Roll them in a bowl of sugar and place them about 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet.

Bake for 8 minutes. When the cookies have puffed up, remove them from the oven.

Push a Kiss into the center of each cookie (this will crack the surface, but that’s OK). Return to the oven for 2 more minutes of baking.

**Or, if you don’t want the Kisses to get too melty, bake the cookies for 10 minutes and omit the second oven time. That’s what I did, and it worked out fine.