What Are Peanut Butter Blossoms?

Lainie Petersen

Peanut butter blossoms are peanut butter cookies topped with a chocolate candy kiss, creating the appearance of a flower with a dark center and giving this cookie its name. There are several variations on the recipe, but the best known uses a straightforward peanut butter cookie recipe. Several minutes before these cookies are done baking in the oven, they are removed and a single candy kiss is placed in the center of each cookie. The cookies are then returned to the oven for a few minutes so that they can brown, but are removed before the chocolate melts and loses its shape. While the recipe is not particularly difficult, because of their striking appearance, these cookies are frequently served during the winter holidays.

A jar of peanut butter.
A jar of peanut butter.

Many people follow the standard peanut butter blossoms recipe of a peanut butter sugar cookie topped with the candy kiss made from milk chocolate, but many variations exist. For example, some recipes produce a much softer, chewier peanut butter cookie as the base for the blossoms. Other variations involve differences in the chocolate topping, with some recipes using a dark chocolate kiss, squares of chocolate, or even a drizzle of chocolate. This last option, however, is not particularly popular, as part of the flavor profile of peanut butter blossoms is the strong jolt of chocolate that a person experiences while eating one of these cookies.

Squares of chocolate may be used to make peanut butter blossoms.
Squares of chocolate may be used to make peanut butter blossoms.

One of the most interesting aspects of peanut butter blossoms is the fact that they are considered to be a traditional winter holiday cookie in the United States. This is despite the fact that they resemble sunflowers or blackeyed Susans rather than traditional holiday symbols. They are very attractive cookies, however, and this likely contributes to their status as a special occasion cookie.

Another reason why peanut butter blossoms are generally made for special occasions is that special care must be taken to insert the kisses into the cookies at the correct time. Many recipes require the cook to remove a hot tray of cookies from the oven and then quickly and nimbly insert the chocolate pieces into the cookies before returning the tray to the oven. This is a tricky process, because the cook must then watch the cookies to make sure that they brown correctly while not over-baking and causing the kisses to melt and lose their shape. Finally, peanut butter blossoms can be difficult to store, as they cannot be stacked on top of each other and there is a concern about marring the surface of the chocolate kiss.

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Discussion Comments


A delicious variation on this is the peanut butter cup cookie. You use peanut butter cookie dough, pat it into mini muffin tins, bake and then put a miniature peanut butter cup in the tin. The residual heat from the cookie will bind everything together. As Scrbblchick noted, you want to have the candies unwrapped and in a bowl or something so you can get to them quickly.

Another tasty version is to use chocolate cookie dough and insert a mini chocolate caramel in the middle. Let sit, then swirl the candy so the chocolate and caramel mix. These are easy, and impressive as heck. Everyone will think you went to all kinds of trouble.


I've seen these cookies all my life, but I've never heard of calling them peanut butter blossoms. We always called them peanut butter kisses.

I've made them pretty often, and if the cook remembers to make an indentation in the cookie, then it's much easier to get the kiss to stay on. Most of the time, the cook just bakes the cookies until they're about three minutes from being done, then puts the kisses on the cookies, presses them in just a bit and bakes the cookies for about two more minutes. It's not that tricky. You just have to have the kisses unwrapped and ready in a bowl or on a tray or something. That's all there is to it. They've never given me any trouble on that front. You just can't get involved in something else while they're baking.

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