Star of Bethlehem Cookies AKA Peanut Blossoms

Star-of-Bethlehem

Oops…it’s nearly the end of January and I still have a Christmas cookie recipe to share. But who’s to say peanut blossoms are strictly for the holidays? My version has been dubbed Star of Bethlehem cookies and are always on my Christmas baking list. I’d get no complaints from my two oldest if I kept a constant supply in the cookie jar.  When December arrives, I hunt down some Brach’s Chocolate Stars to use instead of Hershey’s Kisses…just to make them more festive.  Over the past few years, both these and my chewy ginger cookies have lost some of their their puffiness…it may be due to increased water content in butter, but I never want to compromise the flavor by using only shortening. When I saw the Cook’s Country version of Peanut Blossoms, I figured it was worth a try. The recipe called for a cup of ground salted peanuts  to add even more peanut flavor to the batter in place of part of the flour…quite intriguing.  And I was also hoping they wouldn’t be flat!

I was quite pleased with the results…less spreading and a thumbs up from Miss Katie, the resident pb-chocolate fan! I asked if she noticed any difference  from last year’s cookies and she didn’t notice a thing. I was a bit concerned that there might be a textural change. Nope…nothing discernible.   Plus no shortening in sight…and an extra boost of peanuttiness from the  ground peanuts.  Of course, you can use the traditional Hershey’s Kisses…or even a mini-Reeses Peanut Butter Cup. I can see Katie wanting to try a white chocolate confection next…I’ll have to see what I can find. This recipe made it into my holiday recipe binder…where only the best of the best candy and cookie recipes are stored…I hope it will become one of your favorites, too.

Star of Bethlehem Cookies

Ingredients

  • Recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated
  • Makes about 8 dozen
  • 2 ¾ cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup roasted salted peanuts
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 bag Brach’s chocolate stars (may substitute Hershey's Kisses)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. Whisk together1 3/4 cups flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together and set aside. Process/pulse remaining 1 cup flour and peanuts in food processor until ground,, then mix into flour mixture. Set aside.
  3. With a mixer, beat butter and sugars together in large bowl until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add peanut butter and continue to beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition, until incorporated, about 30 seconds, then mix in vanilla. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed. With mixer on low, add flour mixture in two batches, and mix until incorporated. Cover and chill dough about 30 minutes.
  4. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place about 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Bake until just set and beginning to crack, 9 to 11 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven and firmly press one chocolate star in center of each cookie. Return sheet to oven and bake about 2 more minutes, until golden. Cool on baking sheet, then remove to wire rack to finish cooling. Chocolate will take about 2 hours to become firm.
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Comments

  1. I love blossom cookies and would happily eat them year round! :)

  2. Ahah! Another cookie to add to the Chinese New Year baking list! Thank you, Lizzy :)

  3. I get the same feeling of things not turning up quite as they should when I buy my 12-pound block of butter, which is not as good as the cute little packs from the market. But I don´t see how these cookies can puff up more, they´re wonderful! And since January is the wise men´s month, you still have a day left… jaja

  4. Oh Lizzy – these look perfect and I love the name. We are having an Israel tour group get-together next week and I think I just might have to make and take some of these……just printed the recipe! I love that you have a holiday recipe binder – such a great idea!

  5. They look fantastic. I can tell that they’d be Dudette’s favorite just from your description. I like the idea of using the stars instead of normal kisses….classes things up a lot.

  6. they looks perfect and yummy in any season :)

  7. Geraldine Saucier says:

    Yummy looking cookies:). A perfect cookie year round.

  8. Oooh I love the addition of the ground peanuts!!! That sounds delicious! And the little star chocolates are super festive!

  9. Dear friend Liz.
    I loved this recipe because it was looking for to use some Hershey’s Kisses left over. They were very cute and the way I like it. Thank you for your suggestion that will be copied already.
    kisses

  10. Liz, these look like wonderful cookies – certainly a recipe that can be baked any month of the year. The ingredients sound wonderful – we too love peanut butter, ground peanuts and chocolate in our cookies but they do not look nearly as elegant as your Star of Jerusalem Cookies.

  11. Wow that’s a lot of peanuts and pb, intense. they look great and glad they passed the in-house test.

  12. Isn’t if funny when you find a recipe you forgot to share? I did that recently with some cookies myself. :) I guess we cook and bake so much… we can’t even remember everything we have going on. I would eat this any time of the year… I do love those star chocolates… I have never seen them before. :)

  13. Beautiful cookies, Lizz. It is easy Hershey’s Kisses make it awesome.

  14. No shortening, extra peanuts plus a cute chocolate star. Yum, a cookie full of love.

  15. Very educational and yummy post, Liz.
    A. I had no idea PB cookies were only for Christmas. Love PB and Almond Butter.
    B. Interesting factoid re: PB having more water thereby producing less puffiness
    C. You’ve got my mind and stomach musing over baking up a batch with almonds and almond butter =)

  16. I’d eat these at any time of the year! Although you’re right: they do look like they make a terrific Christmas cookie. My wife (the cookie baker; my specialty is eating) eschews shortening whenever she can – butter has so much more flavor. Anyway, good stuff – thanks.

  17. Oh, these cookies bring back so many memories..especially after school at friend’s houses, friends whose Mothers could bake (mine hated cooking and baking, and it tasted like it lol). with a glass of cold milk. Yours look perfect and I would give most anything for a plate of them..with a glass of cold milk..now!

  18. These cookies are so good that I wish that I can eat them everyday… Wait a minute, Is Christmas over? – Just kidding :p

  19. I could eat a whole batch no no no problem :D

    Cheers
    CCU

  20. Yup.. its never late for these cookies. I am love with these little cookies:)

  21. I haven’t heard of these cookies before and they have a beautiful name. They really do look like stars. They’re gorgeous and I’d like to make these xx

  22. You always make the best things Lizzy , these look so delish!!!! I have to try this :)

  23. I love Cook’s Illustrated, they come up with the best ideas! And you come up with the best of everything Lizzie! I love your star substitution, it makes the name far more intriguing and interesting than “Peanut Butter Kisses”! :)

  24. I was actually reading an article today about the star of Bethlehem and now I ran over your cookies. These are looking lovely.

  25. You can never go wrong with Cook’s Illustrated recipe :D …. Those cookies look pretty yummy ! Perfectly-baked as well ;D

  26. Lizzy these look amazing and tempting of course!!

  27. I see so many cookie recipes on different blogs but you present and decorate them so well. I am saving this in my recipe book as well :-)

  28. This cookie combines a real favourite for our house, PB and Chocolate. I tend to shy away from Shortening too, although I have one in my fridge, though I use about 1/8th of it and then after a year or so, in the trash it goes.

  29. I will always associate these with childhood in the Midwest–where I recall their being served year round. They look wonderful!

  30. I love, love, love the ground up peanuts. And, unfortunately, I can think of an excuse to eat “Christmas” cookies any time of the year. :)

  31. What pretty cookies! And I think you could serve those any time of the year.

    By the way, I made and LOVED your Heath Bar blondies. Amazing!!!

  32. Anything with peanut butter, works any time for me! I love these and would love to have a few right now!

  33. I can see why this recipe made into your holiday recipe folder, they really sound and look yummy!

  34. your cookies look fantastic!! those star shaped candies were such an inspired touch!

  35. Oh wow! Brach’s chocolate stars are a thing of my childhood and I had completely forgotten about them. Sorry, I wanted to talk about the cookies and how much I love peanut butter cookies with chocolate in the middle but there you went and changed up the Kisses for Stars (which are so pretty)! And I’ve actually been craving peanut butter (haven’t bought a jar in ages). These would just be perfect!

  36. Whether it’s for Christmas or not, it’s good to have more cookie recipes on your site, especially when they look this delicious! Beautiful shapes and I could eat several with hot tea…Hmmm I’m about to go to bed. :)

  37. Who could ever resist these blossom cookies!

  38. Such beautiful cookies! They sound delicious too.

  39. They are just gorgeous looking…I used to make a peanut butter cookie that was similar…yum!

  40. They look perfect! I am going to try these. The extra salted peanuts sound delicious.

  41. Ah, Amy makes these. These are one of my favorite cookies at Christmas time.

  42. Love the name. They are lovely.

  43. I had no idea these are called Star of Bethlehem also. Hubby would munch on peanut butter blossoms year round, will have to try this version next time. Thanks Liz

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