Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies

This recipe for peanut butter cookies was developed by Freda Smith of Ohio for the 9th Pillsbury Bake-Off in 1957.

Even though it failed to take the Grand Prize, these cookies have been a favorite ever since.

More than 50 years later, the recipe for peanut butter blossoms is proudly featured in all the holiday cooking magazines and advertisements for Hershey's kisses.

It just goes to show that winning a cookie contest doesn't automatically guarantee commercial success!

Who beat out this recipe for peanut butter cookies to win the 1957 Bake Off grand prize?

Gerda Roderer and her old family recipe for an Alsatian cookie called Accordion Treats.

Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies

Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies

Some people call them peanut butter blossoms; others dub them Hershey kiss cookies. Either way this recipe for peanut butter cookies is sweet and delicious.

This recipe for peanut butter cookies topped with Hershey's kisses has been part of my Christmas for as long as I can remember. My mom said she first made peanut butter blossoms when she discovered the recipe just after she was married back in 1962.

Back in 1957 there was only one Hershey's Kiss flavor to choose from when making a batch of these peanut butter cookies. Not any longer. You can modify this recipe for peanut butter cookies by changing the Hershey's Kiss to suit your mood - For a double dose of peanut butter, make your peanut butter blossoms with peanut butter filled Kisses or if you prefer top them with dark chocolate Kisses for a little extra boost of antioxidants!

This recipe for peanut butter cookies calls for shortening. Many bakers prefer the taste of cookies baked with butter flavor shortening instead of plain. And if you are trying to avoid hydrogenated fats, there are several kinds of non-hydrogenated shortenings available in health food stores. I like Spectrum organic non-hydrogenated shortening.

I always use conventional creamy peanut butter when making these cookies but intend to experiment with a natural peanut butter in the future. I think Smucker's and Laura Scudder's natural peanut butters would work as their peanut butters are pretty creamy and not as oily as some of the other brands.

Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies Recipe

  • 48 Hershey's Kisses chocolates
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Granulated sugar for rolling cookie balls
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
  2. Remove foil from the chocolate Kisses.
  3. In a small bowl combine the flour, baking soda and salt with a whisk until well blended; set aside.
  4. In a large bowl beat the shortening and peanut butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended.
  5. Add 1/3 cup sugar and brown sugar and beat until fluffy.
  6. Add egg, milk, and vanilla and beat until well blended.
  7. Gradually beat the flour mixture into the peanut butter mixture with the mixer on low speed, just until combined.
  8. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls.
  9. Roll the balls in granulated sugar.
  10. Place on lined cookie sheets about 2 inches apart.
  11. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
  12. Remove from the oven and immediately press a chocolate Kiss into the center of each cookie. (Cookies will crack around the edges.)
  13. Remove the cookies with a spatula to a wire rack to cool completely.

This recipe yields about 4 dozen Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies.

Recipe Source: This recipe was developed by Freda Smith for the 9th Annual Pillsbury Bake-Off in 1957 and has been widely distributed ever since.

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