Monday, February 9, 2009

Hugs and Kisses


Instead of giving our friends and neighbors the standard frosted sugar cookies for Valentines Day, I thought it would be fun to give them Hugs and Kisses! Kiss Cookies (aka, Peanut Blossoms) have been a family favorite for as long as I can remember; I can't think of a Christmas when we haven't had them. The recipe comes straight off the back of a bag of Hershey's Kisses. How simple is that?! For the Hug Cookies, I wanted to do a chocolate cookie, so I started with the dough for Quadruple Chocolate Chip Cookies that I posted a few weeks ago (thanks again Tania) and simply left out the chocolate chips.

After baking the first 3 dozen cookies, I noticed a few problems: without the chocolate chips, the cookies weren't quite sweet enough; they didn't look as pretty as the Kiss Cookies; and, because the Hershey's Hugs are so much softer than the Kisses, they melted into little puddles atop each cookie instead of maintaining their nice, pointy tops. Finding solutions to these problems was fun; it made me feel like I work for Cook's Illustrated or something (what a dream!). Just like I did with the Kiss Cookies, I ended up rolling the Hug Cookies into balls instead of just dropping them on the cookie sheet. I also rolled them in granulated sugar before baking, which made them sweeter and a little sparkly. And I stuck the Hugs in the freezer before putting them on top of the hot cookies. Problems solved!!!

Kiss Cookies
from the back of the Hershey's Kiss package

1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
granulated sugar
Hershey's Kisses, unwrapped

Preheat oven to 375. Cream shortening and peanut butter until smooth. Add sugars and beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk, and vanilla; beat well. Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl; add to wet ingredients and mix until smooth. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar, place on ungreased cookie sheet, and bake 8-1o minutes. Immediately after removing cookies from the oven, press a Hershey's Kiss firmly down in the center of each cookie. Allow to cool completely.

Hug Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 small (3.9 oz) pkg. chocolate pudding mix
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
Hershey's Hugs, unwrapped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter, sugars, and pudding mix. Add eggs and vanilla, blending well. Add dry ingredients and mix. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar, place on ungreased cookie sheet, and bake 8-1o minutes. Immediately after removing cookies from the oven, press a Hershey's Hug firmly down in the center of each cookie. Allow to cool completely.
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9 comments:

  1. You are a genius. Cook's Illustrated would be lucky to get you!. The cookies look delicious. Love, your Mum

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  2. These are wonderful! Thanks for all the hard work and sharing the perfect recipe!

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  3. Here it goes again...

    Tell it to me straight. How many cookies did you eat? I, for one, have NO willpower when I come up against Tania's cookie recipe.

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  4. I'm proud to say, I only ate 2: one Hug cookie before I fixed the problems, and one after. The rest have been wrapped up on plates waiting to go to good homes.

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  5. Those are adorable. Very creative, Melissa!

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  6. And they WERE delicious! I am proud to say that I ate all but the two I made my husband eat. Apparently I have a sweet tooth right now.

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  7. WOW... love, love, love all your recipes! Yum xxx

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