Monday, February 16, 2009
Here are the first (of many, I hope) cookies from my Hello Cookie Project. These Peanut Butter Blossoms started out life as peanut crinkle cookies. The addition of a chocolate button transforms them into an altogether richer, more adorable cookie!
Peanut Butter Blossoms are also known as Sombreros or Black Eyed Susans, and were first created in the US in the 1930s, in the Hershey’s test kitchen. Traditionally, peanut butter blossoms have a Hershey’s Kiss embedded in the top, but I don’t particularly like Kisses (something about the type of chocolate they are made of). I suppose you could use an Italian Baci chocolate instead, but I used Nestle dark chocolate bits, which ‘hold their shape when baked’, according to the packet. I will admit, though, that the larger size of a Hershey’s Kiss will give this cookie a very cute look.
The following recipe is adapted from my new favourite book, A Field Guide to Cookies, by Anita Chu. There will be a lot more where this comes from! I’ve altered the recipe to include metric measurements (in brackets).
Peanut Butter Blossoms
Makes about 48
½ cup (125g) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp milk
1 cup (250g) smooth peanut butter (do not use natural peanut butter, which can separate)
1 ¼ cups all purpose (plain) flour
1 tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
½ tsp salt
About 48 Hershey’s Kisses or other chocolate bits
Line three baking sheets with baking paper and set aside.
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter, white sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the egg, vanilla extract and milk and beat until well combined.
Add the peanut butter and beat until well combined.
Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt into the peanut butter mixture and beat with electric mixer until incorporated. If the weather is warm, you may want to chill the mixture in the refrigerator until it is a bit firmer before rolling into balls.
Preheat oven to 375 deg F (190 deg C)
Roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls with your hands and place balls on prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches (5cm) apart.
Bake for 10 minutes. Then remove from oven and press a chocolate Kiss into the centre of each cookie (press in until partially submerged).
Return cookies to the oven and bake for 1 minute.
Remove cookies and cool on trays for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.