Sometimes you buy something just for the sake of buying it, or because it is a new product you have never seen before. Both of these reasons would apply to the ridiculous - although cheap - purchase I made in Target a few weeks ago. Now bear in mind that we do not have a Target in Alberta. This is a glorious store that trumps Wal-Mart in every way. So you can't blame me for being dazzled by the lights and sheer amount of amazing products.
It was in the Halloween candy aisle, while looking for mini Almond Joys, that I came across Hershey Kisses Candy Corn edition. You can read more about them at Candyblog although I think they give the kisses an unfair review.
True, the candy is not chocolate in any sense. And true, doesn't taste like chocolate but then again, I didn't really expect it to. What you do get is a creamy confection that is a cross between real candy corn and butter flavored wax. Now before you say "yuck" I would suggest a taste. They are extremely addictive. I had to put the bag away before my "taste for research purposes only" went any further and I did not have enough left for cookies.
And I did want them for cookies. I envisioned yummy candy kisses cookies in butterscotch flavor perhaps? Well, apparently there are very few original Kiss Cookie recipes on the net. Almost every one I found was peanut butter and very little variation from the theme. So after hunting for days and days for the perfect recipe, I finally, and quite by accident, stumbled upon this one on the Martha Stewart website. She used mini peanut butter cups in the middle, which I think would be far more delicious than my freaky Kisses. What I loved about her recipe was it was simple, and promised a softer cookie. I did not like the idea of a hard as a rock peanutbutter cookie with a soft Kiss centre.
Well, the cookies were amazing. So amazing in fact that Josh thought about them all day at work. Justin devoured them, and Johnson ate entire cookies in one bite. They are heaven. Soft and chewy, peanutbuttery and smooth. The candy corn centre was rich and a perfect balance with the cookies.
Because we do not get the candy corn kisses in Canada, I will use the Caramel Chocolate Swirl Kisses instead. These cookies will definitely have repeat peformances in my house.
Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies
Martha Stewart, Makes 3 Dozen
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar, for rolling dough
36 chocolate kisses or mini peanut butter cups, chilled and unwrapped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Using an electric mixer, cream peanut butter and butter in a mixing bowl until smooth.
Add brown sugar; beat until combined, scraping down bowl as needed.
Add eggs and vanilla, and beat until incorporated.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on low speed, gradually beat in flour mixture in two batches.
Scoop off dough by the tablespoon; roll into balls. Place granulated sugar on a plate; roll balls in sugar, coating completely. Place 2 inches apart on a nonstick insulated baking sheet.
Bake until cookies begin to puff up slightly, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven.
Press one peanut butter cup in center of each cookie. Return to oven; continue baking until cookies are golden brown and chocolate has begun to melt, about 3 minutes more. Let cool at least 10 minutes on baking sheet before transferring cookies to rack to cool completely.