Thumbprint cookies are always a hit come Christmastime, and these dreamy, melt in your mouth peanut butter cookies with a kiss inside are no exception. If you’ve never made Thumbprint Hershey Kiss Cookies before, rest assured — they’re seriously easy from start to finish. These are the very best Hershey Kiss Cookies, and this recipe always yields a soft and chewy peanut butter cookie perfect for topping with a chocolate Hershey kiss!
Today, in addition to the best recipe for bite-sized, soft Thumbprint Hershey Kiss Cookies (also known as peanut butter blossoms) that yield the perfect cookie-to-kiss ratio, we’ll talk recipe basics, why you need to get that kiss on the cookie stat, and even how to freeze your Hershey Kiss Cookies!
COOKIES THAT BRING BACK MEMORIES
Doesn’t it seem that the best recipes are inspired by warm childhood memories and scents of home? The sweet scent of homemade peanut butter cookies wafting from an oven is unmistakable, and I knew when Grandma had a batch baking as soon as I walked through the door. She would pull them out, mark them decoratively with the tines of her fork, and dish them out with a generous smile.
Peanut butter cookies were a special treat. In our own home, mom was chocolate chip all the way, and truth be told, I’m all about the chocolate. So when I set out to make the world’s greatest homemade peanut butter cookie for my little at-home bakery (for more on that story, click here), there was no second-guessing — chocolate would most definitely be involved.
A BEST-SELLING COOKIE RECIPE
And, as it turned out, I was right to go the chocolate route: Thumbprint Hershey Kiss Cookies became a best-seller year after year. The combination of milk chocolate and peanut butter in a soft Thumbprint Hershey Kiss Cookie is irresistible, and the bites with the chocolate are always the best. Why not adjust the cookie-to-chocolate ratio just a tad, ensuring a taste of chocolate in every single bite.
HOW TO MAKE Thumbprint Hershey Kiss Cookies FROM SCRATCH
- Whisk together dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Mix wet ingredients: melted butter, brown and granulated sugar, peanut butter, egg, and vanilla extract.
- Add dry ingredients to wet.
- Scoop and bake.
- Add the Hershey Kisses as soon as they’re out of the oven!
1. WHISK TOGETHER DRY INGREDIENTS
Peanut butter cookies are a cinch to make from scratch. Just like most homemade drop cookies, you’ll first mix up your dry ingredients. The dry ingredients for these cookies is a simple mixture of all-purpose flour, baking powder, and fine sea salt.
2. MIX WET INGREDIENTS
Next, the wet ingredients come together. You could use either a stand mixer, a handheld mixer, or a good ol’ fashioned whisk to combine your wet ingredients. These cookies call for a combination of both granulated and light brown sugar, peanut butter, egg, and pure vanilla extract.
3. ADD DRY INGREDIENTS TO WET INGREDIENTS
The dry ingredients are gently mixed into the wet, taking care not to overmix, which would ultimately cause your cookie to be tough. And, come on — we all know cookies were not meant to be tough. Especially these cute, tiny little guys.
4. BAKE FOR 10 MINUTES
After the dough comes together, it’s time to scoop them on to the baking mat, transfer them to the oven, and enjoy one of the greatest scents known to man — freshly baked peanut butter cookies. Swoon.
WHAT MAKES THEM BITE-SIZED
To make the peanut butter cookies bite-sized, nothing really changes other than the size of the cookie dough ball. Rather than scooping out a whopping tablespoon worth of dough (used for most standard-sized cookies), I used a small cookie scoop that holds just under a tablespoon of dough for each cookie. Added bonus! Little cookies take less time to bake than bigger ones, meaning we can get to the good stuff faster. Score.
Note — if you want standard-sized cookies, you can easily do that with this recipe! Just scoop larger dough balls, and add 1-2 minutes to your bake.
5. ADD THE CHOCOLATE KISS
They wouldn’t be Thumbprint Hershey Kiss Cookies without the kiss, now would they? Plus, as we discussed earlier — the chocolate is kind of the best part.
Immediately after the cookies come out of the oven, the kiss should be planted firmly in the center. Have your kisses ready to go! The cookies are small and they set up fast. The quicker you get the Hershey Kisses on the cookies, the less likely you’ll end up with broken peanut butter cookie.
STORING YOUR HERSHEY KISS COOKIES
Store your Hershey Kiss Cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. Your cookies will stay fresh tasting for 4-5 days. If you’d like to enjoy your cookies for any length of time beyond this, you should consider freezing them.
HOW TO FREEZE HERSHEY KISS COOKIES
Hershey Kiss Cookies freeze beautifully, and all you need to do to freeze them is allow them to cool to room temperature, then transfer them to an airtight, freezer-safe container or a freezer-safe zip-top, gallon-sized bag.
If using a container, try to use one that houses the cookies snugly, but not such a tight fit that they are crammed to the point of breaking. If using a zip-top bag, be sure to remove as much air as possible before sealing.
MORE COOKIE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Peanut Butter Cookies Dipped in Chocolate not only make for a decadent snack, they are the all-time, ultimate homemade gift for the peanut butter lover!
- Classic Peanut Butter Cookies are thick, soft, and practically melt in your mouth with every single bite!
- Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies are made with old-fashioned oats, chocolate chips, and (surprise) vanilla pudding! It’s the secret ingredient that keeps these cookies decadently moist and addictively yummy!
- Ginger Molasses Cookies are a classic cookie full of warm and cozy spices and makes a beautiful and heartfelt holiday gift!
- Chocolate Drop Cookies are every chocoholic’s dream: Full of chocolate, soft, gooey, and easy to make!
- Sugar Cookies with Buttercream Frosting are another classic cookie you just can’t go wrong with. The perfect, buttery sugar cookie, topped with a homemade frosting. Everyone will rave over the taste and the look of these gorgeous cookies!
The bakery days are behind me, but I am most definitely still baking up this best-seller. It’s a simple recipe perfect for baking with kids, and my little girls love nothing more than to get into the kitchen and whip up a batch with me. Also, children make excellent Hershey Kiss “un-wrappers,” and you can totally pay them in chocolate. So there’s that.
Now, go ahead, have yourself a cookie — a soft, perfectly baked, full-flavored Thumbprint Hershey Kiss Cookies. You earned it. In fact, I think I’ll have one too. Enjoy!
The best recipe for bite-sized, soft Thumbprint Hershey Kiss Cookies, also known as peanut butter blossoms. The perfect cookie-to-kiss ratio!
- 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- About 60 unwrapped Chocolate Kisses
Preheat oven to 350° and have ready a cookie sheet lined with a sheet of parchment paper or a Silpat.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and sea salt. Set aside until ready to use.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and peanut butter on medium-high speed. If you don’t have a stand mixer, use a large mixing bowl and a handheld mixer.
Add the egg, followed by the vanilla extract. Add the flour with the mixer on low. Remove bowl from mixer and scrape the dough from the bottom, up and over the top. Return bowl to the mixer and mix on low 30 seconds more.
Scoop out a scant tablespoon of dough and form into a ball. Place about 1” apart on parchment paper. Bake 10 minutes, remove from the oven and set atop a cooling rack.
Place the chocolate kiss in the center of the cookie and apply gentle pressure to inset. Allow to cool 5-10 minutes, serve and enjoy.
Makes about 50 cookies.