It’s a Learning Process

The great part about baking is learning what you can and can’t use in recipes. Cooking is fairly easy – you can throw ingredients together and don’t really have to worry about using precise amounts of any given ingredient. Baking is tricky, though. If you use too much or too little of an ingredient, it can ruin the whole batch.

I wanted to make peanut blossoms to go with the rest of the desserts I made for our neighbors. Let’s face it, being on a baking kick and having no one to give your treats to isn’t any fun and leads to stomach aches and regret… or is that just me?

Anyway, I learned quickly which ingredients I probably shouldn’t use again in the future on these cookies. I’ve made them plenty of times before with no issues, but changing two ingredients led to a problem in the baking process and I’m not quite sure which ingredient it was.

For this recipe you’ll need:

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  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar + more for rolling the dough in
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • small bag of Hershey Kisses – you’ll need at least 48 assuming you make your cookies smaller than mine

My problem either came from the type of shortening I used or the type of peanut butter I used. The only shortening I could find was some Spectrum organic all vegetable shortening. The peanut butter I used was the natural kind (that has ingredients you can actually pronounce), but it also seems to have more oil, which might have caused a problem. If you want perfect cookies I suggest using Crisco shortening and regular peanut butter. Now, on to the baking!

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients except the Hershey Kisses.

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Mix on low speed until a stiff dough forms. It might look a bit grainy from the brown sugar, but you’ll shape them later so it won’t matter that much.

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Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and roll in sugar. Place two inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

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Now before you pop these babies into the oven, count how many cookies you’ve made and unwrap that same amount of Hershey Kisses. Trust me, you won’t be racing the timer to unwrap them all before they come out of the oven and it gives you some leisurely time to pop one or two in your mouth. Bake for 10-12 minutes and immediately top each cookie with one Hershey Kiss, pressing down firmly so the cookie cracks around the edges, but doesn’t break.

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Transfer to a wire rack to let them cool before enjoying this sweet (but not too sweet) snack. Enjoy!

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