I am an Army wife and I love to bake… everything! With many family and friends in various branches of the military and current loved ones serving overseas, I wanted to experiment with new recipes that might be good for long term shipping. After scouring the web for weeks, I found a few sites that have put together lists of ship worthy treats. I have gathered some recipes and will be reviewing them here… hopefully on a weekly basis.
For week #1… I did a twist on the traditional Peanut Butter Blossom cookies we all recognize buy the use of the signature Hershey Kiss adorning the top. With Valentine’s Day coming up I decided to swap out the kiss for a chocolate heart. While searching the holiday shelves at the store, all I could find were these Reese’s Peanut Butter Hearts. Not wanting to trek to the normal candy aisle on the other side of the store with two cranky kids in tow, I decided these would work well enough!
The recipe I used came directly from the Hershey’s website (http://www.hersheys.com/recipes/recipe-details.aspx?id=5191&name=Peanut-Butter-Blossoms). My (almost) 4 yr old enjoyed helping by unwrapping the candies, and only proceeded to eat one! This particular batch made exactly 3 ½ dozen cookies.
Valentine Edition Peanut Butter Blossoms
½ cup shortening
¾ cup peanut butter (could use creamy or chunky based on your likes)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 Tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
Granulated sugar for rolling cookies
1 bag Reese’s Peanut Butter Hearts candy
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Remove wrappers from chocolates and set aside.
2) Using a stand mixer or handheld, mix together shortening and peanut butter until well combined. Add both sugars and mix until fully incorporated. Add egg, milk and vanilla and mix again! Scrape mixture from sides of bowl.
3) In a second bowl, sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Slowing mix dry ingredients into peanut butter mixture at low speed until fully combined.
4) Roll tablespoon sized balls of dough (I use my favorite cookie scoop!) in a bowl with about ¼ cup granulated sugar. Place on parchment lined cookie sheets and pat down cookie slightly.
5) Bake 8-10 minutes (in my oven it took 9 min)
6) Remove pan from oven and immediately place one chocolate heart in the center of each cookie pressing slightly. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and allow to cool completed and the chocolate is solid again.
In the end I thought the peanut butter hearts might be a little big for the size of my cookies. I think Dove makes a heart version of their chocolates for Valentine’s Day, they might be a bit smaller and could be used instead if you prefer solid chocolate vs. the peanut butter filled that I used. My particular bag did not have enough pieces for the entire batch of cookies, luckily I had a few random Hershey Kisses to complete the batch!
These cookies will be shipped out today and we’ll hopefully get a review of how well they traveled on their journey! I haven’t decided on next week’s treat yet… would you rather see Andes Candies Chewy Chocolate Cookies or Sugared Toffee Cookies?!