As I wrote last year, and the year before, they are a really easy last minute cookie to bake using store-bought refrigerated peanut butter cookie dough in a roll. It's what I usually do! This year, though, I decided to mix up some homemade dough and freeze it for later baking. Short cuts are all good and well, but homemade is what I really like during the holidays. This year, I'm getting in front of the insanity!
I have frozen the store-bought dough, but have never frozen the homemade dough. I froze, and then baked off a dozen cookies so we could have a look at how they do! They taste mahvelous dahling!
Peanut Butter Blossoms
Adapted from Joy of Baking.com
(Basically I just doubled her recipe because it looked closest to what I used to make years ago when I made these from scratch on a more regular basis)
1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs - room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup milk
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
96 Unwrapped Hershey Kisses
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until light and creamy. Add the peanut butter and both sugars and mix on medium until color has lightened and it is smooth and fluffy. Scrape the bowl and beater to ensure all the peanut butter is incorporated.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla extract and mix. Add milk and mix. Your batter will be light and creamy at this point.
In a large measuring cup, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk by hand until combined. Add half of the dry goods to the wet mixture in the mixer bowl. On very low, begin to mix, bring the speed up once you know there won't be a cloud of flour and then add the second half of the dry good...again slow to start, then raise the speed and beat until totally incorporated - scrape down the bowl ALL THE WAY TO THE BOTTOM (voice of experience) to insure all the ingredients are together and smooth.
Cover the bowl and place in refrigerator for 1 or 2 hours. This will allow the butter to firm back up and make rolling the balls easier.
I used a small cookie scoop to ensure a uniform size to the cookies. Scoop out your dough on one cookie sheet (covered with a baking mat for easy removal) and pop back into the fridge while you scoop the next tray. Keeping this dough cold is pretty important.
Alternate out the trays and roll the first tray in balls and place that tray in the freezer until frozen. Then remove the second tray from the fridge and roll them and place that tray in freezer. Once all are frozen, place the frozen balls in gallon Ziploc bags and get out as much air as possible before zipping closed and placing in freezer. Freeze until ready to use.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Take out however many balls you are going to bake and place on parchment lined or Silpat lined cookie sheet. Allow to soften slightly at room temperature to the point where you can use a fork to score the cookie dough (took mine about 20 minutes). I like to dip them in red and green sugars for Christmas. You can do that by either dipping the top half of the ball of cookie in the sugar or dipping a fork in the sugar and make criss-cross marks on the cookie. Don't press too far down if you want a puffy cookie. (I know a lot of people don't score the blossoms - just the plain PB cookies - but I like that instant recognition that comes with the scores..."hey, PB Cookies!") If needed, wipe the fork between every 3 or 4 cookies... sometimes it gets gummed up with dough and doesn't make clear marks.
Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes - just lightly browned so they will be soft and chewy. As soon as they come out of the oven, place tray on a cooling rack and place an unwrapped Hershey Kiss in the center of the cookie, gently pushing down.
Or, of course, if you don't want the chocolate in the middle, just leave them as Peanut Butter Cookies!
After the cookies are cool enough to handle, use a spatula to move from cookie sheet to cooling rack to continue cooling all the way. The chocolate will be soft, so don't squish them! I like to eat them while the chocolate is still soft...and the cookie is warm. My kids don't care - they'll take 'em however they can get them!
I'm happy to be checking off another item on my "to bake" list... I'm liking that I am getting ahead of the game this year. Of course, I haven't decorated even a single surface of my home...but the baking prep is getting done!
|The tasting dozen!|
Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!