Peanut Blossom Cookies
Basically a peanut butter cookie topped with a Hershey’s Kiss – but what a winning combination. They became an American cookie jar favorite when Freda Smith entered them in the Pillsbury Bake-Off in 1957 and are still an all time winner.
Makes about 8 dozen (recipe can be cut in half)
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup roasted salted peanuts
16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened but still cool
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
96 Hershey's Chocolate Kisses (from two 1-pound bags), ready-to-use or wrappers removed
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Whisk 1 3/4 cups flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together in medium bowl. Process remaining 1 cup flour and peanuts in food processor until ground, about fifteen 1-second pulses, then stir into flour mixture.
3. Beat butter and sugars in large bowl with electric mixer at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add peanut butter and continue to beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition, until incorporated, about 30 seconds, then beat in vanilla, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl, if necessary. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture in two batches, and mix until incorporated. Cover bowl and refrigerate dough until stiff, about 30 minutes.
4. Roll 1-inch balls of dough and space 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Bake until just set and beginning to crack, 9 to 11 minutes, rotating baking sheet from front to back halfway through baking. Working quickly, remove baking sheet from oven and firmly press one Kiss in center of each cookie. Return baking sheet to oven and bake until lightly golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer cookies directly to wire rack to finish cooling. Repeat rolling and baking remaining cookies. Cool completely. (Cookies will be cool enough to eat after about 30 minutes, but Kisses will take 2 hours to set completely.)