It’s pretty much not even Christmas without Peanut Butter Blossoms, right? I’ve updated this classic recipe (a peanut butter cookie topped with a Hershey’s Kiss) to make these cookies THE BEST. They are super peanut buttery and soft! The dough does not require chilling, so they are quick and easy to make.
So here we are guys, halfway through December, how are we holding up?? Have you lost your ever loving mind yet? Has your to-do list grown actual arms, the better to strangle you with??
I was just telling my best friend Sarah the other day how ironic it is that everybody and their mom gets Christmas day off from work, but not actual Moms. Christmas is not even close to a day off for mom’s, are you kidding me? It’s like April 15 for an accountant. The SuperBowl for an NFL player. Walmart on Black Friday. THIS IS OUR MOMENT, the pivotal day that decides whether you are mom enough.
But it doesn’t start Christmas day, oh no. We work up to this glorious “day off” for months. (How many of you moms started collecting stocking stuffers way back in August? *Raises hand*)
Is the house decorated? Has Elfie kept moving, or has he been in the same position for a week and a half? (guilty.) Is the Christmas breakfast glorious beyond all description? Did you put all the right items into the right stockings? Does one kid accidentally not have enough presents because you suck at spreadsheets?? All the things!!
I went to a cute little dinner put on for the ladies at my church, and the theme was Simple Christmas. We learned about how we should be putting our attention toward What Really Matters. We should be focusing on the people, not on all the Christmas fluff.
I mean for sure, Jesus is the reason and all that, but honestly YOU try sitting your 5-year-old down and explaining that Santa’s not coming this year because we’re trying to “Be Peaceful” and “Stress Less.” I know shopping and decorating and baking gets to be kind of a lot, but can we all just think for a second about what would happen if all the Mom’s went zen about Christmas? My kids would revolt, 100%. We’d have World War III on our hands. How’s that for “being peaceful”??
Honestly though I wouldn’t change a thing. Bring on the joyful stress. I’m sure an NFL player is a nervous wreck on the morning of the super bowl, and that accountant is just so tired on tax day, but the payout is all worth it right? I mean a successful Christmas really does feel like winning the mom SuperBowl, right??
Peanut Butter Hershey Kiss Cookies
Let me tell you one cookie that MUST be on your tray if you want a Mom SuperBowl Christmas. Peanut Butter Blossoms are ICONIC. Seriously if you’ve never heard of these cookies you must live under a rock. They are everybody’s favorite! Today I’m giving you all the tips and tricks you need to make the most gorgeous, sparkly, moist and tender Peanut Butter Blossoms. They are super soft and don’t fall apart on you. The secret is MORE PEANUT BUTTER! MORE COWBELL! But first:
Why are they called Peanut Butter Blossoms?
Okay so this is the cutest story. Back in the 50s a lady named Freda Gibsonburg was making peanut butter cookies one time and wanted to add chocolate chips but she was all out (story of my life, Freda.) So instead of the chips she topped each peanut butter cookie with an entire Hershey’s kiss. I seriously love that one of the most famous cookie recipes of all time stemmed from a kitchen emergency!! I mean, right??
She called them “Black Eyed Susans” and entered them into the 1957 Pillsbury Bake-Off contest, where she won third place. Pillsbury kept publishing the recipe, changing the name to Peanut Butter Blossoms, and it’s become one of the most famous cookies ever! I mean who hasn’t made and loved these?? We seriously owe you one Freda.
PS, I was curious what recipe beat out pb blossoms in 1957, and they are these totally boring looking cookies called “Accordion Treats” that neither you nor I have ever heard of. Come on judges, what were you thinking?? Freda ftw!!!
Easy tips to make the best Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies
Freda started the fire, but we’re gonna keep it burning guys. This ain’t no boring dried out hockey puck peanut butter cookie, it’s the BEST, based on this recipe for the Softest Peanut Butter Cookie of Your Life. I’ll give you all the details below, but here are some quick tips to help you achieve Peanut Butter Blossom nirvana:
- FREEZE your Hershey’s Kisses! This helps them stick to the cookie instead of falling right off! Say no to naked blossoms!
- Use a heck ton of peanut butter because A) hello flavor and B) it makes your cookies MOIST and not dry or crumbly!
- Use name brand peanut butter. Come on now people don’t skimp. JIF OR BUST
- Chill the dough for just a few minutes to enhance flavor and make the dough easy to work with
- Shape them into tiny little cookies, just 1 inch balls. This means more KPB, Kiss Per Bite
Peanut Butter Blossoms Recipe Ingredients
Peanut Butter Blossoms are blissfully simple! Other than the Hershey Kisses, you probably already have everything you need in your pantry. Quantities are listed in the recipe card below, but here’s a quick rundown of what you need:
- granulated sugar
- brown sugar
- peanut butter, don’t use natural peanut butter!
- large egg
- all-purpose flour
- baking soda
- kosher salt
- Hershey’s Kisses
Can I use natural peanut butter?
No, don’t even think about it! We need the extra oil that’s in regular peanut butter like Jif or Skippy! Natural peanut butter isn’t as smooth and creamy. It will make your cookies crumbly and dry.
How to make Peanut Butter Blossoms
First things first: toss your whole bag of Hershey’s Kisses into the freezer so they’re super cold when it’s time to press them into the cookies after baking. If you skip this step, your kisses might fall right off once they are cooled, which is super frustrating!
Now it’s time to mix together the dough. Beat the butter with sugars before adding pb, to make it nice and fluffy and avoid chunks.
Next add a FULL CUP of peanut butter. Yes I said a whole cup! There is twice as much peanut butter than butter in this recipe. And make sure it’s name brand. It really does make a huge difference.
Once your pb is smoothly mixed in, add the egg and vanilla.
Add all your dry ingredients at the same time! Flour first, then I like to use my teaspoon to mix the salt and baking soda into the flour a bit before starting the mixer again.
Once you’ve got it all together (here’s what the final dough looks like), throw it in the fridge for a quick 15 minute chill.
I like to shape these cookies into about 1 inch balls. I think technically this scoop is a 1 and 1/4 inch, but 1 inch is even better. You can also just use your hands. Make them about the size of a walnut.
Give ‘em a good roll in some sugar. You want them well dusted to leave that crunchy sugar coating when you bite into them!
These cookies don’t spread much, so you can fit 15 on a standard 11×17 half sheet.
A few minutes before the timer goes off, go ahead and get the kisses out of the freezer and start unwrapping them so they’ll be ready once the cookies come out.
You can see that these cookies stay a little bit puffy and don’t spread out much. That’s perfect, because we’re now going to press that kiss into the center of the cookies while they are still hot.
Can you see that the frozen kiss is sweatin’ a bit? That’s because it’s a frozen piece of chocolate going onto a hot hot cookie. This condensation is totally normal and will go away once the kiss melts completely. After it melts completely it will maintain its shape (as long as you don’t touch it!) and harden into perfect kiss shape.
But right now it’s time to eat one of these while they are hot. With a glass of milk. You should sit down first. This level of melty peanut butter and chocolate is no joke.
Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies FAQs
Most recipes call for too much flour and not enough peanut butter, which makes them less flavorful AND dry and crumbly. This recipe has MEGA peanut butter, so you will definitely not have this problem! They are based on my recipe for the Best, Softest Peanut Butter Cookies of Your Life, and I stand by that title!
Honestly, it could be for a number of reasons.
– Handling too soon after baking. Freshly baked cookies need time to cool off and set.
– The cookies were under baked and just needed a bit more time in the oven.
– If the crumbles are dry, it may be the cookies were over baked, have too much flour in them (didn’t spoon and level), or you skimped on the peanut butter by using not enough, a cheap brand, or using natural peanut butter.
– Other common culprits are using a cheap (thin) baking sheet, overworking the dough (making it tough and more likely to crumble), or using an oven that runs hot.
Variation on Hershey Kiss Cookies
Hershey kisses are definitely the traditional topping for peanut butter blossoms. But you can totally take inspiration from Freda herself and sub with whatever you have on hand! Try with all the various types of kisses: dark chocolate, caramel-filled, hugs, with almonds, etc. They always have great holiday flavors that are fun to experiment with. You could also add Hershey’s bar squares, mini Reese’s cups, Rolos, or basically any chocolate candy!
Another variation to try is to use different colored sugars to roll the dough in. This is especially fun around the holidays. Try red and green for Christmas, orange and purple for Halloween, pastels for Easter, or even red, white and blue for 4th of July! You can buy different colored sugar in the baking section by the sprinkles, sometimes it’s called sanding sugar.
How do you store Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies?
You can keep your Peanut Butter Blossoms out at room temperature for about 5-6 days in a well-sealed, airtight container. They will be at their best within 1-2 days of baking. Don’t put them in the fridge, they will dry out faster than you can even get yourself a glass of milk, no thanks. If you’re hoping to have them last longer than a week, definitely plan on freezing them.
Can you make Peanut Butter Blossom dough ahead of time?
Freezing the dough: Peanut Butter Blossoms are super easy to freeze! My favorite method for freezing is to follow the instructions all the way up through scooping the dough into balls. Then, instead of rolling them in sugar, place them on a cookie sheet and flash freeze. After about 30 minutes, move the frozen cookie balls to a gallon size freezer bag and label. Once you’re ready to bake them, remove them one at a time, roll in sugar well, and place on the cookie sheet. Bake as directed in the instructions, straight from frozen. The cookies may need to bake a few minutes longer from frozen, so keep an eye on them.
Can you freeze Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies?
To freeze already baked cookies, wait until they are cooled completely so you don’t get melty chocolate everywhere. I like to flash freeze them on a plate or wire rack in the freezer. Once the kiss is hardened, place cookies in an airtight container or ziplock, with wax or parchment paper in between layers. They will store well for about 1-2 months, after that they will start to dry out in the cold freezer air. To thaw, just set out at room temperature for an hour or two, still in the sealed container.
How do you send Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies (in the mail)?
Ahh, you must love someone a whole lot to send them freshly baked cookies. Bless your heart!
- Make sure the cookies are completely cooled. I would actually freeze them completely so that they have the best chance of maintaining their shape.
- Pack them tightly in an airtight plastic container with a lid. You want the cookies to fill the whole container to prevent them from moving around and breaking.
- Fill any empty space at the top of the container with crumpled up wax or parchment paper.
- Place the plastic container in a box and surround completely with bubble wrap. It’s Christmastime and you know this box is about to go through hell. Give your cookies a chance. Use the bubble wrap.
- It’s best to ship them the same day they’re baked, so plan ahead to get them baked early in the day to have time to cool, package, and get them off to the post office.
And there you have it my friends! The BEST Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies you will ever try! Merry Christmas to all!
Other cookies you are going to love for Christmas!
Peanut Butter Blossoms
- 1/2 cup butter, 1 stick
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup peanut butter, not natural pb
- 1 large egg
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, for rolling
- 40 Hershey's Kisses, about half an 11 ounce package
- Start out by tossing your bag of Hershey’s Kisses in the freezer. If they are chilled when you press them into the cookies, the Kisses won’t fall off when the cookies cool.
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the butter until it is smooth and creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl.
- Add 1/4 cup sugar and 3/4 cup packed brown sugar. Beat well until fluffy, scraping the sides. There should be no chunks of butter.
- Add 1 cup of peanut butter. I like Jif best. Beat well until combined.
- Add 1 egg and 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla. Beat until combined.
- Add 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, but don’t stir it in yet. Add 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt on top of the flour and stir it in with your teaspoon to combine the dry ingredients together a bit.
- Turn the mixer on to combine the dry ingredients into the dough. Don’t overdo it! Once the dough barely starts to come together (with some flour still visible), stop and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Continue mixing until you no longer see flour streaks, then turn off the mixer. Over mixing cookie dough results in tough cookies.
- Cover the bowl and chill the dough for 15 minutes to an hour.* (Or up to 2 days!)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Add about 1/2 cup granulated sugar to a bowl.
- Shape the dough into 1 inch balls. I used a cookie scoop.
- Roll each ball in the sugar to coat. Place on a baking sheet. I added 15 cookies to an 11×17 inch pan. The cookies don’t spread much at all, so you can place them closer together than regular cookies.
- Bake the cookies at 350 for about 8-10 minutes. The cookies are done baking when the edges are set, tap it with your finger. The center should be matte, not shiny. These cookies do not spread much, they will be plump little mounds.
- Meanwhile, unwrap about 40 Hershey's Kisses. Place them in a bowl and put them back in the freezer until the cookies are done baking.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and immediately press one frozen Hershey’s kiss on top of each cookie. The edges should crack beautifully.
- Let the cookies set up on the pan for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. The chocolate kiss will melt completely but maintain its shape. Let them cool undisturbed so the kisses don't get messed up. You can pop the pan in the fridge or freezer if you want to speed it up.
- If you know what's good for you, eat at least one of these warm, with a tall glass of milk!