As I have confessed to you in the past, my dear readers, I am a far better cook than I am a baker. There are however a few baking recipes I’ve mastered over the years (I like to think).
Bread pudding is one of them and a few cookie recipes that my mom taught me during the Christmas holidays. This one in particular is my childhood all-time favorite. Both in the baking and EATING category.
I remember it was my Dad’s favorite Christmas cookie too, so it was always the first one to disappear from the Christmas Cookie Plate after dinner. I’m pretty sure we had to bake them several times throughout the season.
It might be your favorite too but if you haven’t tried it, you should. Peanut Butter, Sugar & Chocolate Kisses? Oh Yeah! Merry Christmas!
Bon Appétit! Chef Bettina
~4 dozen cookies
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Granulated sugar, for topping
48 Chocolate “kisses”, unwrapped
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment; if you have it.
In a large bowl, with a hand or stand mixer, beat the butter and peanut butter together until well blended. Add the sugars to the butters and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg, milk and vanilla, and beat well.
In a separate small bowl mix the flour, soda and salt together and then stir into the wet mixture .
Place the granulated sugar on a large plate. Shape the dough into 1″ balls, and roll them in sugar. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1 1/2″ apart.
Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes or until they appear set in the center. Do not bake until browned, because that will be too long. Remove them from the oven and immediately place one chocolate “kiss” in the center of each cookie.
Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Store at room temperature, in a sealed container for up to a week. They can be frozen for longer storage.
*Bettina Tolin is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Austin. She has cooked in the kitchens of the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island, Florida. She is currently the Executive Chef and owner of Marcello’s Ocean Grille & Spirits overlooking the historic lighthouse in Port Isabel. Marcello’s Ocean Grille & Spirits was recently written up in Texas Monthly magazine as the new trending restaurant for dinner and brunch in the South Padre Island area.