Peanut butter cookies with candy kisses are a classic holiday tradition everyone loves. Creamy peanut butter cookies are made special with a milk chocolate center.
Also called peanut butter blossom cookies, these treats are almost always guaranteed to appear during the holidays. Why? Whole pieces of chocolate plus creamy peanut butter, enough said. They are also so simple and fun to make, especially with kids. Who doesn’t like sneaking a milk chocolate candy or two when you unwrap the foil on each cute lil’ kiss? That’s what the holidays are about, quality time with family and friends.
These peanut butter kiss cookies bring me back to great memories of my childhood. I first fell in love with baking at eight years old. I had to graduate from using my easy-bake oven before my parents trusted me to use the big kitchen. Once I got the green light, I was like a cookie-baking machine.
Make the peanut butter cookie dough
I use Jif natural creamy peanut butter for a smooth consistency. You can also use homemade peanut butter. All-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt are sifted together to create a lighter cookie texture that melts in your mouth. Cream together the softened butter, creamy peanut butter, granulated sugar, and light brown sugar until fluffy. This traps air, so the structure isn’t too dense. The molasses in the sugar adds depth to the flavor of the dough.
The eggs, milk, and vanilla are incorporated until smooth. The extra fat adds richness to the dough. Gradually add in the flour mixture, just until hydrated. You can use the dough immediately or chill it to firm up the butter if it feels very soft to prevent too much spread.
Roll and bake
The dough is easier to handle when it’s just below room temperature. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls. If you make them too big, the cookie will be too large compared to the size of the kiss. Coat it in granulated sugar to make the surface sparkly and crisp. Bake them on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper at 375°F (191ºC). Once you see them puffy in the center with cracks on top, they are ready after about 8 to 10 minutes.
Have the bag of Hershey’s kisses unwrapped! Press a kiss in the center of the chocolate while they are still warm. This will help the bottoms of the chocolate melt and stick to the cookie without melting entirely in the oven. These cookies are incredible after cooling; the chocolate has softened, and the entire cookie melts in your mouth.
These tender cookies bake with lightly crisp edges, each gobble revealing delicious peanut butter flavor. This recipe is fantastic without the kisses, too, if you want a simple peanut butter cookie.
Hershey’s seasonal kiss flavors come in candy cane, caramel-filled, nut centers, hot cocoa, cookies and cream, and much more. You can get creative with many choices, but I decided to keep it classic. You can even add small peanut butter cups for a more robust peanut flavor.
If you want a festive cookie appearance, roll the cookie dough balls in colorful sanding sugar or sprinkles. Chop until some additional peanuts and coat for extra crunch!
Still, need a reason to make these peanut butter kiss cookies? Santa not only likes chocolate chip cookies but also enjoys peanut flavor too! Merry Christmas, friend. I am wishing you and your loved ones a holiday filled with joy, peace, and relaxation!
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Best time to add the kiss to the center
Add them right out of the oven while the cookies are still warm and on the sheet tray. Push them gently into the center of the cookie, which will cause the edges to crack a little. Don’t wait too long! Make sure to add them immediately so there’s time for the chocolate to melt on the bottom slightly and stick. You can then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Classic Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 ounces unsalted butter, softened to 65 to 68ºF (18 to 20ºC)
- ½ cup peanut butter
- ½ cup granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 45 chocolate kiss candies, Hershey’s Kisses, foil removed
- Preheat the Oven – Set the oven rack to the center position. Preheat to 375°F (191ºC). Line three baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Sift the Dry Ingredients – Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl, and whisk to combine.
- Mix the Butter and Sugars – Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, peanut butter, granulated sugar, and light brown sugar on medium speed for 1 minute.
- Add the Wet Ingredients – Add egg, milk, and vanilla, and mix on medium speed until well blended, about 30 seconds.
- Incorporate the Flour – Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until combined on low speed, about 1 minute. If the dough is very soft, refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling.
- Roll Out the Cookies – Measure 1 leveled tablespoon of cookie dough and roll it into approximately 1" sized balls. Roll cookies in sugar and place 2" apart on the baking sheets.
- Bake – Bake until lightly browned, puffed, with some cracks on the surface, 8 to 10 minutes. Immediately press the chocolate candies into the center of each cookie. The dough will crack more around the edges.
- Let Them Cool – Allow the cookies to cool for 2 minutes on the sheet pan, then transfer them to a wire rack.
- Storing: Place cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days at room temperature. I do not recommend freezing, as the chocolate can bloom, causing the surface to turn white.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.
Tried this recipe?
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