Cookie Week: Peanut Butter Chocolate Kisses

As everyone around me counts the days until Christmas, I’m counting the number of text messages I’ve received this month, all asking the same cryptic question: “Am I on the list?”

No, this isn’t the guest list to an exclusive holiday bash or even Santa’s Nice List—it’s my mom’s annual Christmas cookie list, and being on it is a huge deal. She really does make the world’s best cookies (no bias here!), and her Christmas platters are an anticipated yearly event.

As the heir to the family Christmas cookie throne, I’m realizing that I have some serious shoes to fill. Let’s just say I’ve already started practicing! Luckily, it’s Cookie Week here at The Secret Ingredient, and over the next five days we’ll all be sharing our favorite holiday cookie recipes. I decided to kick off the week with a Christmas classic to see if I could give my mom a real run for her money, and Lisa Zwirn’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Kisses (from her wonderful book Christmas Cookies) did not disappoint. Moist, chewy, and the perfect combination of peanut butter and chocolate, they were absolutely delicious. Even my mom agreed, which is always a good sign!

So check out the recipe for this delicious holiday treat and be sure to tune in all week for more of your favorite cookies!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Kisses
Makes About 48 Cookies

  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • About 1⁄3 cup granulated sugar, for coating the balls
  • About 48 Hershey’s Kisses, unwrapped

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

3. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter in a large bowl until creamy. Beat in the peanut butter, then the brown sugar. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until blended. With the beaters on low speed, mix in the flour mixture until fully combined.

4. Place the granulated sugar in a medium bowl. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls, and then roll each ball in sugar to coat completely. Place the balls on the prepared sheets, arranging them about 1½ inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back about halfway through baking, or until the cookies are puffed and cracked on top. (The cookies will be soft, but they will firm up as they cool.) Remove the sheets from the oven and immediately press a chocolate kiss into the center of each hot cookie. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool completely.

5. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

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