Prior to Thanksgiving I had all this gusto when I thought about all the Christmas cookies I wanted to make this year. I planned to dedicate Black Friday to cookie making. Then Thanksgiving happened. I mean I cooked and cleaned all day long. It was exhausting. So I didn’t much feel like making Christmas cookies the following day. And I didn’t. I did eke out two Christmas cookies Thanksgiving weekend and I still haven’t blogged about them … because cooking and blogging can be exhausting sometimes.
So my friend invited me to a potluck and I glanced around my kitchen thinking … what to bring. After I cleaned out my fridge from all my Thanksgiving leftovers I literally had nothing edible to string together. At best, I knew I could come up with a dessert and Christmas cookies seemed like the perfect option. One of the cookies I planned on re-making this year was peanut butter blossoms. I’ve blogged about them before.
This year as I was pulling the ingredients to make the cookies out of the fridge and the cupboards, the idea occurred to me to use cream cheese instead of shortening. I was very excited about this idea and took to Google to see if I could find anyone who had done it before me. Every time I think I have a brilliant idea I find about 500 people who had the same brilliant idea before me when I take to Google. But this time I could find nary a recipe for these particular cookies using cream cheese and butter. I did find regular peanut butter cookies made with cream cheese and butter and, I have to admit, the pictures did not look altogether appealing. So with much trepidation, I proceeded with my brilliant idea to include cream cheese in this classic recipe giving it a “soft batch” twist.
I am genius. The cookies looked basically the same as the regular recipe for peanut butter blossoms if not slightly anemic perhaps from the white cream cheese. One of the things I’ve never liked about peanut butter cookies in general is how stiff and crunchy they tend to get. I always under-bake them in an attempt to make them softer. But with this recipe there’s no need to under-bake. I actually baked these cookies longer than I normally would. If you feel the same way about peanut butter cookies and their texture, you should try this recipe. What are you waiting for?
- HERSHEY’S KISSES and Mini REESE’S PEANUT BUTTER CUPS
- ½ c. cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ c. butter, room temperature
- 1 ½ c. peanut butter
- ⅔ c. granulated sugar
- ⅔ c. packed light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 c. all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- Granulated sugar
- Heat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from chocolates. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Beat cream cheese, butter and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended. Add granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.
- Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on cookie sheet.
- Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each cookie; cookie will crack around edges. Cool completely on cookie sheet.
So I had a hard time not gobbling up all this cookie dough while I was rolling the balls. It was like: one for the cookie sheet, one for me. It was harder than normal to contain myself. There’s something about peanut butter cookie dough that I find utterly irresistible and maybe the cream cheese in the recipe made this dough even more delectable.
Personally, I like peanut butter cups in this cookie rather than the kisses. Only because peanut butter + chocolate = amazing and peanut butter + peanut butter and chocolate = super amazing. Know what I mean? But I always feel like I need to make some of the traditional kinds with kisses because, well it’s just tradition.
I think this cookie is so versatile you could make it with lots of different chocolates. I’ve seen it made with dove chocolates, which is a great idea because in theory the chocolate is more evenly distributed across the top of the cookie. I always find myself trying to eat part of the kiss but accidentally eating the entire thing and having leftover cookie without chocolate. Anyone else run into this? #foodieproblems