We’ve got cookies on the brain here at Minnesota Transplant this week.
We’re entertaining both sides of the family for Christmas this year, you see, and Christmas cookies simply must be part of the nonstop eating frenzy.
Up tonight: Batch No. 4, a perennial favorite, peanut blossoms.
But I can’t make boring old regular peanut blossoms, no sirree, I’ve got to get a little crazy. You can, too, here’s how:
1. Don’t use butter. Yup, you heard me right. I’m a fan of butter any other time (I grew up in dairy country after all), but standard peanut blossom recipes call for shortening for a reason. Butter — in combination with peanut butter — will cause your cookies to flatten too much when baking. Butter is great with your already-flat sugar cookies, but don’t use it in your peanut blossoms.
2. Size matters. In this case, smaller is definitely better when you’re forming your balls of dough. The best cookie-to-chocolate ratio comes with balls of dough slightly small than 1 inch in diameter; you could pop an entire cookie in your mouth whole if you aren’t the savoring type. The recipe I was using called for 48 cookies, but I managed 61.
3. Come to the dark side. Why stick with standard milk chocolate kisses when Hershey’s, in all its infinite wisdom (they make chocolate, for goodness sake!) makes dark chocolate Kisses? Dark is better. If you can’t give up tradition entirely, do as I did and use half milk chocolate and half dark chocolate Kisses.
4. Add bling. Thanks to my friend Barb who introduced me to King Arthur Flour’s Sparking White Sugar (available online here — yes, it’s worth the shipping), my peanut blossoms quite literally sparkle. I rolled them in this fancy sugar which is as sweet as it is beautiful. It’s a treat for the tongue as well as the eyes; there’s this extra crunch in your mouth as you savor your blossoms. Yum.
Here’s a standard peanut blossom next to one of my special ones. Which would you rather have?
Oh, OK, I’ll admit they’re both delicious.