I remember the first time my grandmother made these cookies for the holidays. She called them kiss cookies, but then she proceeded to explain that someone had told her the cookies were also called something else, which I will not repeat here. Let’s just say that my uncles and aunts thought the name was hilarious. Well, whatever the name, my family immediately adopted these yummy peanut butter kiss cookies as a family tradition, and we enjoy them to this day. My boys like to unwrap and put the kisses on the hot cookies, though many of the kisses seem to disappear during dough prep. I’ll never forget the first time we made these with the boys. Builder Guy was 3 and Top Gun was 18 months old. They wanted to unwrap the kisses without help, but they didn’t want to put the kisses in the bowl after, so the kisses were melting all over their little hands and coating everything they touched. And of course the chocolate was all over their faces, clothes, and hair. They’ve grown up a bit and are neater about it now, but the kisses still disappear when we make these.
The type of peanut butter you choose is important. Avoid oily peanut butters, such as the kind with a puddle of oil on top, because the cookies tend to spread more and don’t hold their shape as well during baking.
[Updated December 19, 2009.]
PEANUT BUTTER KISS COOKIES
Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
stand mixer with paddle attachment
cookie sheets, ungreased
1-1/2 cups (180 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (113 g) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup (128 g) smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup (88 g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (55 g) packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
additional sugar for coating
48 chocolate kisses, unwrapped
1. Preheat oven to 375° F/190° C.
2. Mix the flour, soda, and salt in the small bowl. Set aside.
3. Using the stand mixer, blend the butter and peanut butter. Beat in sugars until well blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Gradually add dry ingredients. Add two or three more tablespoons of flour if the dough is sticky. Dough should feel firm to the touch.
4. Roll dough into 1-inch balls, and roll each in sugar. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden.
5. Press a chocolate kiss into each cookie while it’s still hot and allow to sit for about 5 minutes on the cookie sheet. Move cookies onto wire rack to cool. The chocolate kisses will remain soft for a while, so wait until the chocolate firms up before moving cookies into plastic storage containers. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.