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.
- 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)
- Preheat oven to 350º. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Don’t forget to enter to win a coupon for your very own Sauté Express by Land O Lakes on my Creamy Chicken Enchiladas post.