I remember making Peanut Butter Blossoms when I was a kid. Sure, it was a trans fat nightmare way back then. But, what wasn’t? Now, I look at the recipe for Peanut Butter Blossoms helpfully provided on the back of the package of Hershey’s Kisses and think: I can do better. Shortening? No thanks. I don’t have anything against vegetable shortening, per se, I’m just skeptical. Vegetable shortening is pure white and kind of waxy. What vegetable has this kind of fat? If it’s soy, I’m out. Too many GMO issues. Ditto corn. I’m just at a loss to explain how a vegetable has fat that is pure white. So, I don’t use it.
Reese’s Peanut Butter? Eek! Have you seen the ingredients list?
|ROASTED PEANUTS; SUGAR; CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL (RAPESEED, COTTONSEED, AND SOYBEAN OILS); SALT; PEANUT OIL; MONOGLYCERIDES; MOLASSES; CORNSTARCH|
Pass. So, I subbed out lard and butter for the shortening and a “no stir” natural peanut butter for the Reese’s brand. Jif Natural Peanut Butter has Palm Oil for the stabilizer and while that particular ingredient has environmental issues, it’s not hydrogenated. Every ingredient can’t be completely perfect!
The result? Well, I was really nervous. As much as trans fat is bad for you, it does serve a purpose in the baking world. There are entire cookies that are based on trans fats because of their specific mouth feel. I avoid them like the plague, but was concerned with what would happen with my little cookie. Would they crumble? Be too dry? Not hold the blossom?
The cookies didn’t make it more than a few days in the house. They were actually better than the normal recipe! The cookies were crispy on the outside, tender on the inside. My husband, who is not a peanut butter cookie person loved these. The kids were scarfing these down. Lastly, the blossom stayed in place!! Success!!!
By using old world ingredients, I remade this cookie to be not so lethal.
Peanut Butter Blossoms
Makes 34-48 Cookies (depends on side of cookie created)
48 HERSHEY’S KISSES Brand Milk Chocolates, unwrapped (mileage may vary here, I got about 34 cookies)
¼ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup lard
¾ cup Natural, No Stir (I used Jif) Peanut Butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
⅓ cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
Additional granulated sugar
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the butter, lard and peanut butter. Mix until well combined. Add the sugars and the baking soda. Mix well until fluffy. Add the egg and mix. Add the whole milk and mix again. Add the vanilla extract and mix until all ingredients are incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and the salt. In 3 separate additions, add the flour to the sugar mix, mixing well between additions.
- Shape dough into roughly 1 inch balls. Roll the balls in granulated sugar and placed on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Bake 8-10 minutes until lightly brown.
- Upon removal from the oven, immediately press a chocolate kiss in the center of the cookie. Expect the cookie to crack.
- Remove cookies from the pan and let cool on a wire rack.