Sunday, December 4, 2011

Peanut Butter Blossoms

This is truly the most wonderful time of the year.  Last weekend was Thanksgiving and this weekend was my extended family's annual Christmas cookie bake.  Nine of us gathered together to bake and exchange lots of cookies.  We made around 13 different varieties of cookies and other treats between the nine of us (plus 2 dogs and 3 young kids)--all in one kitchen.  What could be better?

I'm the only vegan in my extended family, as I've mentioned before, so my cookies were definitely meant to please non-vegan palates.  Happily, my mom, my sister, and one of my aunts also made some vegan treats.  All in all, the vegan options included chocolate-mint brownie bars, peanut butter crispies, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and my peanut butter blossoms.  Looks like I have some serious eating to do over the next couple days.   

I'm going to share with you the recipe for my peanut butter blossoms:

First I'll include the recipe for the vegan chocolate kisses and then I'll list how to make the cookies.

Chocolate Kisses

  • 5 or 6 oz. of vegan chocolate chips (I used half of a 12oz. package of Ghirardelli semi-sweet chips)
  • Parchment Paper and a plastic bag for piping. 

First, melt 3/4 of the chocolate chips on the stove using a double boiler:  Fill a medium saucepan with about 2 or 3 inches of water and heat.  Melt the chocolate chips in a smaller saucepan nested in the larger saucepan, stirring frequently to prevent burning.  Once the chocolate is melted, remove from heat, add in the remaining chocolate, and stir until all of the chocolate is melted and combined.  Then, add the chocolate to a piping bag (fill a plastic bag with the chocolate and cut a small hole in the bottom of the bag) and pipe the chocolate onto parchment paper into the shape of a chocolate kiss.  Pipe in a circular motion, slowly lifting up as you go to create the shape.  Let the kisses harden.  Yields approximately 24-30 kisses. 

Peanut Butter Blossoms

  • 24 vegan chocolate chocolate kisses (recipe above)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar (+ 3 tablespoons extra sugar to coat the cookies at the end)
  • 1/2 cup vegan margarine
  • 2 egg equivalents (I used Ener-G Egg replacer powder, but you could also use 1/3 cup applesauce)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 3/4 cups flour

Once the chocolate kisses are cooling on the parchment paper, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Cream the sugars and margarine in a mixing bowl until well combined.  Add in the egg equivalent, vanilla, baking soda, and peanut butter and mix well.  Finally, add in the flour and combine until a soft dough forms.

Next, add the extra 3 tablespoons sugar to a separate small bowl.  Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and roll each ball in the sugar until coated. Place the balls on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake for 9-12 minutes.  Immediately after removing the cookies from the oven, top the cookies with your chocolate kisses.  Press the kisses into the cookie and allow the cookies to cool.  The kisses will attach themselves to the cookie during the cooling process. 

Despite the fact that it was my first time making  my own chocolate kisses, the kisses came out well and looked great in the center of the peanut butter cookies.  They weren't quite as pointy as Hershey kisses, but the homemade look is nice too.

The only issue I had with this recipe was that my cookie dough was a bit sticky when I was attempting to roll it into balls.  I adjusted the flour in the recipe above to make up for that; but, if your dough is still sticky, try refrigerating the dough for about an hour to reduce the stickiness. 

All in all, these cookies tasted just like I remember peanut butter blossoms tasting.  Enjoy this classic, now vegan, cookie!

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