Peanut blossom cookies with a more robust peanut flavor
Peanut blossom cookies first gained notoriety at the 1957 Pillsbury Bake-Off. They're simply a peanut butter cookie topped with a Hershey's Kiss. We started with the original recipe and made tweaks to it with the goal of achieving a more robust peanut flavor.
Adding more peanut butter didn't do the trick. We tried swapping chunky peanut butter for the creamy, but tasters disliked the craggy texture it gave these cookies. We got the best peanut flavor when we replaced a portion of the flour with roasted peanuts, which we ground finely in the food processor so they wouldn't compromise the cookie's texture.
Most recipes recommend pressing the kisses into the cookies immediately after baking, but the warm cookies softened the kisses too much, and they took 4 hours to firm up -- again longer than we were willing to wait to indulge.
Strangely enough, we found that placing the chocolates on the cookies during the last 2 minutes of baking helped them firm up more quickly. Why? It turns out that a little direct heat stabilizes and sets the exterior of the chocolate, and the kisses were firm enough to eat after the cookies had cooled for just 2 hours. Any Hershey's Kiss -- dark, milk, white, or "Hugs" works in this recipe.
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