Monday, October 28, 2013

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Peanut Butter Blossoms
Makes 12 large

Peanut Butter Blossoms
I loooove peanut butter cookies.  I have shared this recipe for years – and continue to get requests. It dawned on me to post it on my blog for ALL to have and share. It is worth shouting about on rooftops.  Yes, that good. There are really very few potentially controversial ingredients in the basic peanut butter cookie formula.

Your source of fat should be butter, not shortening. Butter will make your cookies taste, em, duh….buttery! Shortening will make them taste suspiciously vacant, flavorless in fact. Yes, shortening yields chewier cookies than butter does, because butter contains water and shortening does not. But you can make up for butter’s crisping tendencies by using brown sugar instead of white. (In the dough, that is; you will coat your cookies in white sugar). The moisture content of brown sugar results in soft, chewy, doughy cookies every time. Plus, its dark molasses flavor nicely complements the roasted notes of the peanut butter.
All you need for Peanut Butter Blossoms
Before baking you will dip your lumps of dough in sugar before baking.  This should really be SOP for more cookie recipes: It adds a pleasant sheen and a delicate crunch to the surface of the finished cookie – not to mention the sweet wallop for the taste buds. However, it is especially nice counterpoint to this dough, which is mellow rather than aggressively sweet on its own.
  • 1¾ C all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ C butter
  • ½ C creamy peanut butter
  • ½ C light brown sugar
  • ½ C granulated sugar + more for rolling
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
  • Small Reese’s peanut butter cups, chocolate kisses – optional (but my husband says required!)
Heat oven to 350 degree F. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Cream butter in mixer, slowly add peanut butter and both sugars. Mix well.  Add 1 egg and vanilla.  Beat well. Blend in dry ingredients gradually.
Mmmm....nice and creamy
Shape the dough into balls. Roll balls in granulated sugar and place on greased, or parchment lined, cookie sheet.  Put in oven and bake until lightly browned: approximately 8 minutes for small cookies, 10 minutes for larger.
Dough balls coated in sugar
The traditional peanut butter cookie has a crosshatched appearance….the indenting the top of each ball of cookie dough with the bottom side of a fork’s tines right after you pull them from the oven. Sometime in the 1930’s such marks became the international sign for “This is a Peanut Butter Cookie”. It is not required if you want to scoff at tradition and blaze your own path.  Personally, we think more goodliness is even better. 

How to add – is where the diversion lies.  Some prefer more peanut butter taste and squish in a small Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup – others prefer the Hershey kiss variety.  In either case, bake the cookie rounds, immediately after baking, press a Hershey’s kiss (or Reese’s) into the center of each one and gently flatten it slightly thereby creating a seal between chocolate and cookie. I return them to the oven for 2-3 minutes.

Such Hershey’s-kissed confections are known as “Peanut Butter Blossoms”. Now who knew that!

Love, love these treasures….


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