Saturday, December 24, 2011

Cookies for Santa (Peanut Butter Blossoms)

Is there anything better than creating holiday traditions with kids? Well, how about creating yummy holiday traditions with them?

One of the traditions in our house, as in many around the world, is making cookies to leave for Santa on Christmas Eve. To thank him for coming, and to give him a boost of energy for the rest of his trip.

This year, during a very fun horse-drawn carriage ride with Santa, little miss asked the big guy what his favorite kind of cookie was. The answer? Peanut butter. Hmm... Seems the jolly old fella has something in common with several of the folks in our house... So, of course, when I asked little miss what kind of cookies we were going to make today, she reminded me of Santa's request, and insisted that we make Peanut Butter Blossoms.

These are pretty easy to make, and are super delicious. And you know a recipe is going to be good when it starts out like this:

Yup, a whole stick of butter and a big ol' scoop of peanut butter. Some sugar, some vanilla, some flour, this cookie dough comes together really easily, and we were soon ready to shape the cookies.

The cookies themselves are just peanut butter cookies, shaped into balls and rolled in sugar.

The "blossom" comes as soon as the cookies are out of the oven.

In order to keep things moving along, we actually had a sort of assembly line going. I shaped the dough and rolled it in the sugar while little miss (with the help of wonderful Aunt D) unwrapped our Hershey's Kisses chocolates. Actually, little miss chose to make half of our cookies with Kisses, and half with Hugs, which are pretty much the same thing as the Kisses, just covered in white chocolate.

As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, a Kiss (or Hug) is carefully pressed into the middle of each cookie. The heat melts the bottom of the chocolate, adhering it to the cookie, and the pressure of pushing the candy into the cookie makes the cookies "crackle."

Pretty festive, isn't it?

We soon had our cooling racks full of delicious treats, all ready for Santa.

And maybe for someone else, as well.

Little miss carefully selected the two best cookies for Santa, and set them out with milk and a letter.

I think he'll be delighted.

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate, and I wish you all a wonderful holiday season!

Peanut Butter Blossoms
(from Hershey's)

48 Hershey's Kisses chocolates (though I usually only wind up with about 36 cookies...)
1/2 cup shortening (I use unsalted butter, at room temperature)
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
granulated sugar (for rolling the unbaked cookies)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and unwrap the chocolates.
Beat the shortening and peanut butter in a large bowl until well blended (I use my KitchenAid mixer). Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar, beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla and beat well.
In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually beat the dry ingredients into the peanut butter mixture.
Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Roll each ball in granulated sugar and place onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.
Immediately press a chocolate into the center of each cookie. The cookie will crack around the edges.
Remove the cookies from the cookie sheet to a wire rack and allow them to cool completely.
Makes around 4 dozen (though I usually get about 3 dozen from this recipe...)



  1. Wishing you and all your loved ones a happy and blessed time Shelly
    making cookies with kids is great fun and these look really tempting..looking forward to trying them

  2. Too cute!! I always helped my mom make Peanut Butter Blossoms, too!!

  3. Oh funny -- Mom and I made these same cookies just before Christmas and used the same assortment of milk chocolate and swirled kisses!


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