Peanut Butter Blossoms (soft and chewy)
Every cookie exchange needs these peanut butter blossoms. They are a holiday classic. Made with creamy peanut butter, the dough is rolled in sugar and pressed with a chocolate kiss. The cookies turn out perfectly soft and chewy every time!
This marks day 12 of my 25 Days of Baking this Christmas season! Peanut butter blossoms are a fan favorite. Everyone seems to love these cookies… and what’s not to love? It’s the dynamic duo—peanut butter and chocolate. What I don’t understand is why they are only baked at Christmas. They should be enjoyed all year round!
Why this recipe works
The dough requires no chilling so the cookies are ready in less than 30 minutes! These cookies are super soft and chewy (not dry and crumbly!). They also get their signature cracks when the Hershey’s kiss is pressed on top. You can make the dough ahead of time for easy holiday prep or freeze the cookies after they’ve baked.
- Peanut butter: No-stir creamy peanut butter is best for cookies (I use Skippy all natural). Do not use the kind that separates and has oil on top.
- Sugars: A blend of brown sugar and granulated sugar makes the cookies chewy and sweet, respectively. Granulated sugar is also used to roll the cookie dough balls in.
- Butter: Use unsalted butter that is room temperature. Salt is added separately to activate the baking soda.
- Hershey’s kisses: The star of the show and signature ingredient! Unwrap them ahead of time so you’re prepared to press them on the cookies when they come out of the oven.
Hershey’s kisses come in plenty of flavors! Try the dark chocolate, cookies n’ creme or peppermint kisses for a twist on this recipe. Instead of chocolate kisses you can use other chocolate candies such as malt balls or mini Reese’s peanut butter cups (like I did for my spider cookies).
For a touch of Christmas, you can roll the cookie dough balls in red or green sanding sugar before baking. If you don’t want to use peanut butter, you can use other nut butters, but make sure they are on thicker side (not separating with oil).
This recipe doubles easily if you want to make a large batch of cookies for gifting this holiday season. You can also halve the recipe for a small batch!
How to make peanut butter blossoms
- Whisk together the dry ingredients—flour, baking soda and salt—and set aside.
- Make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the peanut butter, butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
- Roll and bake the cookie dough: Scoop a tablespoon of dough and roll into balls. Roll in granulated sugar and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 375° F for 10 minutes.
- Add chocolate kiss: Remove cookies from oven and immediately press a chocolate kiss on top of each of them. Doing this while the cookies are still warm will help the bottom of the kiss melt slightly and stick to the cookies.
Be sure the use room temperature ingredients. This will make for a better, smoother cookie dough and softer cookies. I also encourage you to weigh ingredients with a kitchen scale (it’s more accurate than measuring). If you don’t have a scale, fluffy up your flour and spoon it into a measuring cup (never pack it down). Level it off with a knife.
If you want extra thick, chewy cookies, chill the dough for 30 minutes while the oven preheats. This will also help prevent them from spreading.
To make that glittery exterior, roll each cookie dough ball in granulated sugar. It adds extra depth when the cookies form those characteristic crinkles in the oven. Remember to place the milk chocolate kisses on the cookies as soon as they come out of the oven so they stick!
Make ahead tips
The great thing about this recipe is that you can make the dough ahead of time and freeze it! Freeze the dough in an airtight container for up to three months. Defrost in the refrigerator, then roll into balls and bake according to the recipe.
You can also roll the dough into individual balls first and freeze in an airtight container with parchment paper between the layers so the balls don’t stick. Let the cookie dough balls sit at room temperature while the oven preheats. Roll them in sugar and bake for 12 minutes or until edges are set.
If you choose to freeze baked cookies, they will last for one month in an airtight container. Wrap the cookies in plastic wrap for best results. Defrost in the refrigerator before bringing to room temperature and serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
They last up to 5 days in an airtight container at room temperature. This makes them good for bake sales, cookie exchanges and Christmas parties.
The dough was too warm or the baking sheet was hot prior to going in the oven. If the dough is too soft, place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes while the oven preheats.
They were either over-baked or you used too much flour. Measure your flour properly by using a kitchen scale or spooning the flour into the measuring cup and leveling it with a knife (don’t pack it down).
The Hershey’s kisses need to be gently pressed to the cookies as soon as they come out of the oven. The warmth will melt the bottom of the chocolate kiss and stick to the cookies.
Be sure to try these classic Christmas cookies. They are sure to be a hit at your holiday party!
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Peanut Butter Blossoms
- 1 ¾ cup (218 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (100 g) light brown sugar
- ½ cup (128 g) no-stir creamy peanut butter¹
- ½ cup (113 g or 1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 30 Hershey's Kisses, unwrapped
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar, set aside to roll the dough in
- Preheat oven to 375º F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a hand mixer and a large bowl), combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, butter, and peanut butter. Beat until combined and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides when necessary. Add egg and vanilla. Beating until mixed, about 30 seconds.
- With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture and beat just until combined.²
- Scoop a full tablespoon of dough and roll into 1 inch balls. Roll the cookie dough ball in the extra sugar and place on baking sheet. Place balls 1 1/2 inches apart.
- Bake for 10 minutes, or until light golden brown, then remove from oven and immediately press Hershey's kisses into the center. Cookies will crack when you press the kiss in—this means you did it right! Place on wire cooling rack and let cool completely.
Recipe adapted from New York Times Cooking.