Saturday, August 2, 2014

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Let's start with a classic. I don't know if I would call Peanut Butter Blossoms the "very beginning" but they are certainly a classic cookie. Chocolate Chip probably trumps them in "classic-ness" (yes, there is such a classification and yes, that is a made-up word). Today I wasn't feeling like baking with little chips of anything. I was feeling big kisses. So Peanut Butter Blossoms it is.
There is something inherently homey about the combination of peanut butter and chocolate. The two go together like a good thunderstorm and a front porch swing. The creamy, smooth texture of peanut butter paired with the sweet richness of chocolate wrap their arms of deliciousness around the taster as if embracing them with a hug. This is the delight of a Peanut Butter Blossom that I hope to share with those who will eat these little classic delicacies!

My recipe today is not my own. I didn't even tweak it in the least. I first looked at the bag of Hershey kisses for recipe guidance but was leery of following the steps without some feedback on how the cookies would turn out. So to Bing I went and came up with a slightly adapted recipe from All Recipes. I'm a sucker for All Recipes because I can read other bakers feedback, comments and suggestions. Since I don't do my own taste testing I rely on the feedback of previous bakers for guidance on what recipes will be home runs.
**A side note, I never ever eat what I bake. I don't eat sweets. I don't even nibble. I make frostings and doughs by looking at them, smelling and having my Mom as my official taste tester.
Back to Peanut Butter Blossoms.
I picked the highest rated recipe on All Recipes and went to town.
The result?
The cookies turned out but my advice to all those who might try this recipe is I suggest upping the amount of peanut butter by at least a 1/4 cup. This recommendation comes on account of my own desire for a stronger peanut butter scent and my Mom's desire for a stronger peanut butter taste. I was hoping for my house to smell like a tub of peanut butter but upon baking the cookies I found that I only got a slight whiff of the creamy goodness I was anticipating. Same went for my official taste tester. So a word to the wise, up the peanut butter.
Other than the less than overwhelming peanut butter flavor the cookies were a success. I followed the recipe almost precisely besides the fact that I convected them at 350 instead of just simply baking at 375. This helps retain moisture (so I've read). I also didn't time my cookies. I never time anything. This results in some cookies baking for ten minutes and other for twelve and maybe even a tray or two for fourteen. This isn't a precise science on my part, more of a forgetfulness about the cookies being in the oven. I try to eye them up for the perfect golden brown top with a slight crisp around the edges. That to me is the perfect looking cookie!
Here's the recipe I used for any Peanut Butter Blossom lover (or Peanut Butter Blossom baker who doesn't eat sugar but loves the scent of peanut butter). Enjoy!

Peanut Blossom Cookies
1 cup shortening
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar for decoration
2 (9 ounce) bags milk chocolate candy
kisses, unwrapped
1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
2.In a large bowl, cream together the shortening, peanut butter, brown sugar, and 1 cup white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, and stir in the milk and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; stir into the peanut butter mixture until well blended. Shape tablespoonfuls of dough into balls, and roll in remaining white sugar. Place cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets.
3.Bake for 10 to12 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from oven, and immediately press a chocolate kiss into each cookie. Allow to cool completely; the kiss will harden as it cools.

** Courtesy of

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