At the risk of being put on the naughty list, I’m going to admit something about the enduringly popular, borderline iconic cookie tray essential, peanut butter blossoms: I’ve never fully understood the hype. I decided to see if I could create an updated version that would please blossom cookie lovers and blossom cookie skeptics alike. These Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies are what I’ve been missing all along!
Brown butter peanut butter blossom cookies are the next-level version of a peanut butter cookie that’s so ubiquitous, I have memories of the mothers of my kindergarten classmates baking them for our annual Christmas party.
In theory, peanut butter blossoms have everything going for them in the cookie department.
- They’re easy, their combination of chocolate and peanut butter is timeless and ever satisfying.
- They eliminate the difficult choice between candy or cookies for dessert. In a single peanut butter blossom, you *should* have it all.
In my nerdy, curious baker fashion, I went digging through the internet, old-school church cookbooks I’ve collected at garage sales, and some of my own all-time favorite peanut butter cookie recipes.
I compared ingredients, opened my jar of peanut butter, and went to work on a recipe for chewy peanut butter blossoms that everyone, both those who’ve loved peanut butter kiss cookies all along and those who, like me, still needed convincing, would absolutely adore.
These easy peanut butter blossom cookies are IT!
Secrets to the BEST Peanut Butter Blossoms
- Brown The Butter. The process of browning butter in a pan prior to using it toasts the milk solids in the butter so you can taste its flavor even more. It gives the cookies an even richer, almost caramelized flavor.
- Chill The Dough. Have you ever tried to make peanut butter blossoms and ended up wondering, “why do my peanut butter blossom cookies go flat?” Using too much butter or not chilling the cookie dough was likely the cause.
For this recipe, browning the butter melts it, so you do have to chill the cookie dough for at least four hours prior to baking to ensure they don’t spread all over your baking sheet. It’s definitely worth the wait.
- Roll The Balls To The Size The Recipe Suggests. It results in the perfect cookie-to-kiss ratio and a soft, sublime peanut butter cookie texture.
- Go Half Whole Wheat. While these aren’t full-on healthy peanut butter blossom cookies (it is the holidays), I used half white whole wheat flour in place of the all-purpose flour. You can’t taste the difference one bit, and every small change counts. Note: I do not recommend using 100% whole wheat flour, or your peanut butter blossoms may be dry; whole wheat flour absorbs more liquid than all-purpose flour.
- Keep The Kiss Soft. Press the chocolate kisses into the cookies a few minutes after the cookies out of the oven. You want the kiss to melt a little bit so that it stays softer even after it sets but not so soft that it loses its shape. Three minutes after the cookies are out of the oven is the sweet spot for me.
5 Star Review
“I loved making these cookies! They turned out exactly like the picture, and they taste AMAZING! The brown butter makes such a difference.”— Frankie —
How to Make Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies
This recipe is aligned closely enough with the “original” peanut butter blossom cookie recipes I found (think peanut butter blossoms Pillsbury, Taste of Home, church cookbooks, etc.) to preserve the nostalgia and tradition that comes along with baking and eating them, BUT I’ve made a few small changes that make all of the difference in the world.
Those little twists all add up to a softer, more elevated, and (at least in this peanut butter cookie lover’s opinion) better-tasting cookie.
- Butter. Many of the original recipes I found called for shortening instead of butter, which, in my opinion, lacks flavor and doesn’t yield moist peanut butter blossom cookies. Butter is where it is at in the cookie department, for now and forever amen.
- Flour. I used a mixture of all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour for this recipe.
- Sugar. Adds a touch of sweet, sugary goodness.
- Egg. Binds everything together.
- Peanut Butter. For rich, creamy peanut butter flavor! I do not recommend using natural-style peanut butter (made with salt and peanuts only), as it is less predictable in baking (same story for these Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies).
- Vanilla Extract. Make sure to use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
- Chocolate Kiss Candies. The pièce de résistance! I chose to make classic milk chocolate Hershey peanut butter blossoms, but you could try using other kiss flavors on your cookies if you prefer (I suspect the caramel ones would be incredible).
- Brown the butter, then let it cool.
- Whisk the dry ingredients together.
- Beat the sugar into the butter, then add the egg and remaining wet ingredients.
- Beat the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Cover and refrigerate the dough. Do NOT skip this step!
- Create cookie dough balls and roll each one in a bowl of sugar. Bake the peanut butter blossom cookies at 350 degrees F for 12 minutes on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Press a chocolate kiss candy into the center of each cookie. ENJOY!
Why Are My Peanut Butter Blossoms Dry?
If your peanut butter blossoms are dry, it’s because you have too much flour or too little liquid (or a combo of both!).
I honestly also think that too many peanut butter blossom recipes are dry as written; that is why I took extreme care to make sure this recipe produces moist, chewy peanut butter blossom cookies.
- When making this recipe, don’t skimp on the butter (it acts like a liquid ingredient). I don’t recommend trying to use shortening instead of butter. Shortening will not produce the same soft, moist results as butter does.
- Measure your flour carefully. Adding even a little too much flour can throw off the liquid amount in the cookie dough and will yield a dry cookie.
To measure: spoon the flour into your measuring cup, then level it off (versus packing it into the cup) so that you don’t have too much flour. You also can “cheat” the spoon method by using your measuring cup to “fluff” the flour in the bag or container first, then scoop it into the cup and level it off.
- To Store. Store peanut butter blossoms in an airtight storage container at room temperature. When stored properly, peanut butter blossoms should last up to 5 days.
- To Freeze. In the event of leftovers, an influx of cookies, or your own baking zeal outpacing what your family can eat, peanut butter blossom cookies can be frozen. Fully bake them (including adding the kiss). Let the cookies cool completely to room temperature, then freeze in an airtight ziptop bag or storage container.
Meal Prep Tip
Prepare the cookie dough as directed, portion the dough into balls, roll them in the sugar, place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and pop the entire sheet into the freezer. Once the cookie dough balls harden, transfer them to an airtight freezer-safe storage container or ziptop bag for up to 3 months. Bake from frozen.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Stand Mixer. This appliance makes for easy peanut butter kiss cookies.
- Baking Sheet. One of the most useful and versatile tools in my kitchen.
- Pie Dish. I use this for rolling the cookie dough balls in sugar.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you need to make your blossom cookies without peanut butter, you could try swapping in sun butter instead. I have not tried this adaptation, so I’d love to hear how it goes.
These cookies are called peanut butter blossoms because of their unique appearance. With the chocolate kiss candy in the middle, these cookies somewhat resemble a flower blossom.
If you’re looking to send these tasty cookies as a holiday treat, you’ll want to get them in the mail ASAP. As soon as they’re cool, transfer the cookies to an airtight storage container with a tight and secure lid. Place the container in a box slightly larger than the container. Add some bubble wrap around the container to keep it from moving around inside the box during transfer. Seal the box, and you’re good to go! Try to use a quick shipping option so that your recipient can enjoy their tasty cookies while they’re fresh.
Are peanut butter blossom cookies a part of your holiday cookie tradition? Be it yes or no, I hope you’ll give this brown butter version a try!
I haven’t asked Santa yet, but I have a feeling making a big batch of these for someone you love is a guaranteed spot on the nice list.
Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies
- 1/2 cup European style unsalted butter such as Land O'Lakes Extra Creamy or Kerrygold
- 1/2 cup (plus 1 tablespoon) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour or swap additional all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar divided (1/4 cup for the cookies, 1/2 cup for rolling)
- 1/2 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter I do not recommend the natural-style peanut butter made from only peanuts or peanuts and salt, as it is less predictable in baking
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 24 chocolate kiss candies unwrapped (about half of an 11-ounce bag)
- Set out a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Heat the butter in a small, light-colored saucepan over medium low. This will take several minutes. Continue to heat until butter melts completely, foams and crackles, turns clear golden (the crackling will stop), then turns toasty brown, swirling the pan periodically. This entire process will take 3 to 5 minutes, depending upon your pan. Once the butter begins to smell lightly nutty, whisk it frequently, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom. Watch the pan carefully in the last few minutes to ensure that the butter does not burn. As soon as the bits of butter in the bottom of the pan turn the color of a pecan, remove the butter from the heat and pour it immediately into the reserved mixing bowl to prevent the butter from burning. Let the butter cool to room temperature. IT MUST COOL before you add any other ingredients to it. If you like, you can speed this process along by putting the bowl in the refrigerator.
- While the butter cools, in a separate medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, white whole wheat flour, baking soda, and salt.
- Once the butter has cooled to room temperature, add 1/4 cup granulated sugar and the brown sugar. With a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat on medium-high speed until the mixture is well combined, about 1 full minute. Add the egg and beat again until combined, about 1 minute more, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the peanut butter and vanilla extract, then beat on medium-high speed until fully combined.
- Sprinkle the dry ingredients into the bowl. Beat on low speed, just until the flour disappears. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for at least 4 hours or up to 3 days. (Overnight is recommended). Do not skip chilling the full time, as the butter needs to resolidify and the dry ingredients absorb the wet for the cookies to have the right texture and flavor.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Let the dough rest at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes, or until it is soft enough to easily scoop and roll.
- Place the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Place the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a shallow dish or bowl. (A pie dish is perfect.)
- Once the dough has rested, portion it by 1 tablespoonfuls and roll it into dough balls. Roll each ball in the sugar and arrange it on the baking sheet, leaving at least 1 1/2 inches between each. Bake in the upper and lower thirds of the oven for 12 minutes, or until the tops are barely beginning to crack. If your oven has hot spots or tends to bake a little unevenly, switch the pans’ positions halfway through. Remove the cookies from the oven and place the sheets on a wire cooling rack. Let cool on the sheet for 3 minutes.
- Press a chocolate kiss candy into the center of each cookie, then transfer the cookies from the baking sheet directly onto the wire rack. Let the cookies cool completely if you’d like the kiss to harden, or dive right in and enjoy the delicious, melty mess.
- TO STORE: Store peanut butter blossoms in an airtight storage container at room temperature. When stored properly, peanut butter blossoms should last up to 5 days.
- TO FREEZE AFTER BAKING: Fully bake the cookies (including adding the kiss). Let the cookies cool completely to room temperature, then freeze in an airtight ziptop bag or storage container.
- TO FREEZE BEFORE BAKING: Prepare the cookie dough as directed, portion the dough into balls, roll them in the sugar, place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and pop the entire sheet into the freezer. Once the cookie dough balls harden, transfer them to an airtight freezer-safe storage container or ziptop bag for up to 3 months. Bake directly from frozen.
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