If you’re following me on Instagram (and please do!) you might have seen this picture of the Christmas cookie bake-a-thon that happens at my house every year when my Mom comes home for the holidays. God love her, she’s truly the best baker I know and her cookies are the very best in the universe. No lie. Sadly we ate the last Christmas cookie over New Year’s weekend an in effort to eat our way through the pile of sugar and carbs that had become our basic meal plan and prep ourselves to start this year on a healthy foot.
I lasted like 4 days and I’m making cookies again. There’s another Monday coming right up, so we can try again then. In the meantime, I’m planning ahead to Valentine’s Day and since I couldn’t get enough of Mom’s Peanut Butter Blossoms, I’ve been toying with the idea of a twist on them and came up with a winner this morning!
This Red Velvet Peanut Butter Blossoms Recipe is my Mom’s recipe for Peanut Butter Blossoms with the addition of cocoa and red food coloring to red velvet them up for a fun Valentine’s Day theme.
The key here is to keep your dough balls small. “You’re getting them kinda big,” is a momism at cookie baking time. They really don’t spread and if you get them too big, when you push the Hershey Kiss (or Hug – I used Hugs for these) down into the freshly baked cookie it will crack in pieces. Also you want to be able to shove them in one bite. Keep ’em small.
As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, press the Hugs down into them and remove them from the baking sheet to a cooling rack. I put a note in the recipe that if you use the white chocolate Hugs like I did, freeze them first or else you are likely to have a puddle of chocolate on top of your cookie instead of a kiss shape.
Aren’t they lovely? I’m so excited for the kids to get home from school and see these babies! Here’s the recipe:
Red Velvet Peanut Butter Blossoms Recipe
- 1 stick butter (1/2 cup), at room temp
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- ½ cup sugar + extra for rolling dough in
- ½ cup smooth peanut butter
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon red food coloring
- 1⅔ cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1½ tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1 bag Hershey hugs (see notes)
- Unwrap your Hershey Hugs and put them in a bowl in the freezer. See note!
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Using a mixer, beat together the butter, brown sugar, sugar, and peanut butter.
- Add egg, vanilla, and red food coloring. Mix until combined.
- Add all dry ingredients to a separate bowl and stir with a fork to combine.
- Add dry ingredients to mixer and mix until dough forms.
- Shape dough into 1-inch balls and roll in sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 8 minutes.
- Remove from oven and immediately top centers with Hershey Hugs. Press down to get them in there firmly. The cookie will crack along the edges - that's okay!
- You can eat them warm because the melty chocolate is delicious! Just wait for those Hugs to harden again before you store them. You can speed that process up by putting them in the freezer.
If you want a brighter red color, try using the gel food coloring (start with a little bit and add if needed – it doesn’t take much).
Yum! Enjoy them and Happy Valentine’s Day!
Want more cookie recipes? These Raspberry Jelly Thumbprints are one of my favorites (also from my Mom!) and perfect for the holidays!