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.