My favorite peanut butter blossoms recipe — perfectly soft and crackled, made with extra peanut butter, and topped with Hershey’s Kisses or peanut butter cups.
Friends, have you baked up a batch of peanut butter blossom cookies yet this holiday season?
If not, here’s my favorite recipe for how to make them! ♡
I’ve always been a bit disappointed by many traditional peanut butter blossom recipes I’ve tried in the past that end up being dry and crumbly and, ironically, lacking in peanut butter flavor. So I tinkered around with the old-fashioned recipe this year — upping the amounts of peanut butter and vanilla, reducing the amount of flour, and replacing shortening with butter. And I have to say, the results were delightful! The updated peanut butter cookie base is much more soft and flavorful, plus the extra peanut butter flavor really shines through.
I also experimented with all of the internet’s best tips for getting those Hershey’s kisses (or you could use peanut butter cups) to actually stick to the cookies and hold their shape, rather than falling off of the cookies or melting and losing their form. And the winning solution ended up being super simple — just pop the kisses in the freezer while you prep and bake the cookies. Then press the frozen kisses into the cookies as soon as they emerge hot outta the oven, which allows the bottoms of the kisses melt and adhere to the cookies without the tops of the kisses losing their shape. Easy breezy!
We’ve been sharing these peanut butter kiss cookies with friends and neighbors all season and they are always a hit. So gather some kisses and let’s bake up a quick batch together!
Peanut Butter Blossom Ingredients:
Before we get to the full peanut butter blossoms recipe below, here are a few notes about the ingredients you will need:
Butter: Unsalted, room temperature butter. (Or if you only have salted butter on hand, just reduce the amount of salt in the recipe by 1/4 teaspoon.)
Sugars: This recipe uses a 50/50 blend of granulated white sugar and light brown sugar.
Peanut butter: I use natural peanut butter in our everyday life, but it can be incredibly inconsistent in baking recipes. (Brands or homemade recipes can vary significantly in their oil content.) So for this recipe, I used traditional creamy peanut butter, which is what the original Hershey’s recipe calls for and works well.
Egg: To bind all of our dough ingredients together
Milk: To add just a touch of extra moisture to the dough. You can use cow’s milk or any type of plain plant-based milk that you have on hand.
Vanilla extract: Which really complements the flavor of the peanut butter.
Flour: I stuck with traditional all-purpose flour for this recipe, but it will work well with a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend too.
Baking soda and salt: To give the cookies some rise and bring out all of those tasty flavors. Please note that I wrote the recipe using fine sea salt. If you only have iodized (table) salt on hand, you will need to reduce the amount of salt to 1/2 teaspoon.
Hershey’s Kisses or peanut butter cups (frozen): To top your cookies! You can use any variety of Kisses or any brand of peanut butter cups that you prefer. I just recommend popping them in the freezer when you first begin working on the dough so that they can be completely chilled by the time you use them to top the cookies, which will help the bottoms of them to melt and adhere to the cookies without melting the entire candies.
How To Make Peanut Butter Blossoms:
Detailed instructions are included in the recipe below, but here’s a quick overview of how to make peanut butter blossom cookies:
Freeze Hershey’s kisses. As mentioned above, go ahead and unwrap those Hershey’s kisses and pop them in the freezer to chill while you prepare and bake the cookies.
Make the peanut butter cookie dough. Follow the directions below to make your dough, either using a hand mixer or a stand mixer.
Chill the dough. In order for the cookies to be nice and puffy, the dough needs to be chilled before baking. You can either pop the whole batch of dough in the fridge for an hour or so until chilled. Or for a faster option, you can go ahead and form the dough balls (as directed below), freeze them for 10 minutes, and then bake.
Prep the dough balls. Form the dough into 1-tablespoon balls (I find it’s helpful to use a small cookie scoop to do this), roll them in granulated white sugar until evenly coated, and then place them on a parchment-covered baking sheet.
Bake. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cookies begin to slightly crack on top.
Add the kisses. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire cooling rack. Then immediately take the frozen Hershey’s kisses and press them gently into the middle of the cookies. Let the cookies cool to room temperature, if you have the patience, then enjoy! :)
Possible Recipe Variations:
Want to customize your peanut butter blossoms? Here are a few more fun variations to try…
Use peanut butter cups: Instead of Hershey’s kisses, feel free to press Reese’s mini peanut butter cups (or any brand of pb cups that you love best) into the centers of your cookies.
Use coarse sugar: Instead of rolling the dough in granulated white sugar, you are welcome to roll it in coarse turbinado sugar for some extra crunch.
Use sprinkles: Alternately, you could roll the dough balls in sprinkles for a more festive, colorful cookie. (Or just add a pinch of sprinkles on top.)
Add cinnamon: These cookies are also delicious with 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon mixed into the dough.
Make them gluten-free: Use an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend in place of traditional all-purpose flour. (If using Reese’s, though, be sure to double-check that the peanut butter cups are gluten-free since their products can vary.)
More Classic Cookie Recipes:
Looking for more classic cookie recipes to bake this season? Here are a few of my faves:
Freeze Hershey’s kisses. Unwrap the Hershey’s kisses (or mini peanut butter cups), place them on a plate and chill in the freezer until ready to use.
Mix the dry ingredients. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt until combined.
Mix the wet ingredients. Add the butter, white sugar and brown sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. (Or alternately, you can use a hand mixer with a large mixing bowl.) Beat the butter and sugars together on medium-high speed for 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add in the peanut butter, egg, milk and vanilla extract and beat on low speed for 1 minute, until combined, pausing to scrape down the sides of the bowl whenever needed. Add in the flour mixture and meet on low speed for 1 minute, until combined.
Chill the dough. Transfer the dough to a sealed food storage container and chill for about 1 hour. (Or see a speedier chilling method in the notes below.)
Prep the oven and baking sheet. Heat the oven to 375°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Prep the dough balls. Form the dough into a 1-tablespoon dough balls ball (I find it’s easiest to do this with a small cookie scoop), gently roll the balls in granulated white sugar until evenly coated, and place on the prepared baking sheet at least 2 inches apart.
Bake. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the cookies begin to slightly crack on top.
Add the kisses. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire cooling rack. Then immediately take the frozen Hershey’s kisses and press them gently into the middle of the cookies. Let the cookies cool to room temperature…then enjoy!
Salt: If you only have iodized (table) salt on hand, reduce the amount of salt to 1/2 teaspoon.
Peanut butter: As mentioned in the post above, it’s important to use traditional peanut butter instead of natural peanut butter in this recipe to achieve the right consistency.
Quick-chilling method: Instead of waiting for the large batch of dough to chill in the fridge, you can go ahead and form however many dough balls you would like to bake, roll them in sugar, place them on the parchment-covered plate, then place the plate in the freezer for 10 minutes to chill. Then transfer the chilled dough balls to your parchment-covered baking sheet and bake.