This one is for all the peanut butter cup fans out there. These peanut butter cookies are tender, chewy, and deeply nutty. And the milk chocolate kisses sit so regally atop them, that it is almost impossible to bite into one (almost!). There is some brown sugar in the cookie for a molasses hint that goes so well with chocolate. A bit of vegetable shortening in the dough helps reduce spreading while the cookies bake.
Freezing the sugar-coated balls of dough pre-bake also helps with this, but if you can’t bear to wait for your pre-baked cookies to chill, by all means you can skip this step: it may just mean that the cookies bake up a little flatter.
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (melted and cooled slightly)
- 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus more for rolling the balls of dough
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 36 milk chocolate kisses (foil wrappers removed)
Gather the ingredients.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and powder, and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, shortening, the sugars, and vanilla, and mix on medium until incorporated, about two minutes.
Add the eggs and yolk all at once, and mix on low until incorporated, scraping down the bowl as needed with a rubber spatula. Add the peanut butter, and mix on medium until smooth and uniform, scraping the bowl as needed.
Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix on low just until combined. Place the mixing bowl in the refrigerator for about an hour, or until the dough is firm enough to roll into balls.
Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Once the dough is chilled, roll out 16 balls that are 1 tablespoon in size. Roll the 16 balls in the granulated sugar, and place on the prepared sheet pan.
Place remaining dough back in refrigerator to keep cool while the first batch bakes.
Bake cookies for 10 minutes, rotating the pan at the halfway point. The cookies will be just lightly browned and starting to crack slightly when they are done. Immediately upon removing the sheet from the oven, gently place a chocolate kiss in the center of each cookie.
Immediately upon removing the sheet from the oven, gently place a chocolate kiss in the center of each cookie.
Repeat with the remaining balls of cookie dough, being careful to keep extra dough chilled between batches.
- Do not forget to remove the foil wrappers from the chocolate kisses while the cookies bake, not afterwards. You want to move quickly placing the kisses on top of the cookies once they come out of the oven, as the warmer the cookie, the easier the kiss will adhere to its top.
- The cookies will keep tightly wrapped on the counter for up to 3 days.
- These cookies are wonderful around the holidays—as they are a terrifically festive cookie and sturdy enough to be shipped. Once baked, the cookies can also be frozen and shipped this way. Shipping frozen cookies means they’ll be just a tad fresher when they arrive at the lucky recipient’s home. Sometimes the kisses do get knocked off in transit, though, so do package them carefully.
- Try adding a sprinkling of flaky sea salt to the cookies pre-bake.
- Substitute white chocolate kisses for the milk chocolate.