With everything that has been going on lately—the tragedy in Las Vegas, fires in Napa/Sonoma County area and everywhere else in California and the loss of a dear chef/colleague, I think it is time to take things slow and make cookies.
Since the beginning of October, the fall weather has been amazing. I was finally been enjoying the coolness and slight change in the leaves but currently that has been more subdued by the craziness that has happened the last few days. As I write this it is pretty scary how the fires in Napa/Sonoma counties and beyond have pretty much affected all of Northern California in terms of air quality and a layer of heaviness in this part of the world. As I exited Hapkido this evening at 5:30 p.m., the sun was a bright coral red and what was a blue sky had been overwhelmed by a brown, grimy film. It has a sense of foreboding that I don't like... and makes me miss clouds and beautiful days.
Even though I am far away from any fire danger, the presence of smoke and haze makes everything seem more real and that this is really happening less than 100 miles away from my home. But I will do my part to help through my day job, take things a little bit at a time and see where this all goes in the next few days.
But onto these cookies. These Peanut Butter Blossoms are beautifully simple and bring back memories of childhood and nostalgia. There are cookies that require more love and labor but I think these are perfect to bring on the joy of baking and comfort during times when you need it the most. When I made these as a kid, my favorite part was pressing in the candy kisses. When you press them in, they kind of just nestle into the center of the cookie which is a completely satisfying task to do. These have been around forever in my family and are definitely a classic-must-have cookie for any day unless you have a peanut allergy. In that case, any other nut butter would work in these, too.
In other news, I'm back to listening to Spilled Milk and it is just as glorious as ever.
Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies
From the Sunset Cookie Book
Yields: 30-36 cookies
- ½ cup butter, softened
- ½ cup peanut butter or other nut butter
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 30-36 chocolate candy kisses
In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter, peanut butter, the ½ cup granulated sugar and brown sugar. Once creamy, beat in egg and vanilla.
In another bowl stir together flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture, blending thoroughly.
Place the ¼ cup granulated sugar in a small bowl. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and then in the sugar. Place 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets.
Bake in a 350ºF oven for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, unwrap chocolate kisses. Remove cookies from oven and quickly top each with a kiss, pressing down until cookie cracks around edges. Return to oven and bake for 3 to 5 more minutes or until cookies are lightly browned and firm to the touch. Transfer to racks and let cool completely.