Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies are a traditional Christmas cookie in my family. Since I’ve been gluten-free, they’ve become my go-to cookie year round. There’s nothing overtly Christmas-y about them unless you roll them in colored sugar, and peanut butter and chocolate go together year round! The best part is that you only need 5 common ingredients, plus the kisses (or rolos or pb cups) to make them.
I made this batch of these cookies last night to take to friends along with dinner of Bourbon Chicken (recipe coming soon!), Stir Fry Veggies, and Rice. She’s in the process of beating breast cancer and friends have been taking them meals a few times a week to help out. We actually don’t know them super well (Lo plays volleyball with her husband and everyone usually hangs out after the games), so they were probably surprised that I volunteered to bring meal, but when someone you know needs help, you need to take the time to help however you can. The world would be a better place if people would just remember that sort of thing. Plus they are really awesome people with whom we’d love to hang out more and get to know better.
Back to the cookies – I also planned to bring some of the batch into work for our holiday luncheon that the managers have catered for us. Besides me, another co-worker eats gluten-free as well, so I like to bring in something that everyone can enjoy. So I doubled the batch below, but am posting it as a single batch which makes around 20 cookies, more or less depending on size.
Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Extra sugar, if desired
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap Hershey Kisses now or during the baking time. Mix everything together using a mixer or by hand. Roll dough into 1 inch balls (or larger, if desired). You can roll them in some extra sugar if you desire, though it’s not necessary and I usually skip this step (colored sugar can be pretty). Place 2-3 inches apart on a baking sheet; these will only spread slightly. I prefer to use reusable silicone baking mats or parchment on my pans, but the cookies shouldn’t stick to any pan. Bake for approximately 10 minutes, until they start look slightly dry and begin to show cracks. If you want them to be soft and chewy, pull them out when the cracks form. If you prefer crunchy, wait another minute or two until they are more golden brown. Remove from oven and lightly press a Hershey’s kiss or rolo into the center. The chocolate on the bottom will melt slightly and hold the candy to the cookie. Leave cookies on pan for at least 5 minutes to help them set up more. Carefully transfer to a wire rack until completely cool.
*If you forget to put the kisses on the cookies right away and are afraid the candy won’t melt enough to stick, add the candy and pop back in the oven for 30 seconds until it looks a little shiny.
*If you are a Nutella fiend, mix up the dough but sub in a few spoonfuls of Nutella for the peanut butter and you’ll get a little swirly pattern like some of the cookies above if you don’t over mix. I just put the nutella in the bottom of the measure cup, fill the rest with pb and when you scrape the pb into the bowl to mix, leave the nutella until you have everything mixed well – then gently stir in Nutella so you have some swirls (like this picture from a previous batch).
*To refrigerate to prepare another day: Mix up the dough and form into a big ball. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a day or two. To bake, remove from fridge, roll into balls, and bake as above.
*To freeze dough to bake another day: You can freeze the dough in one big ball, tightly wrapped. Allow to thaw before rolling to bake. Or freeze by rolling out cookie-size balls and place them on a cookie sheet in the freezer until frozen. Remove and dump into a container or Ziploc and freeze until ready to bake. Allow to thaw on the counter for 20 minutes and bake. Bake within 3 months for best results.
*To make Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Cups: Roll dough into slightly larger balls and place the balls in a mini muffin tin. Bake for about 10 minutes or until they start to crack, and press a mini peanut butter cup into the dough. The dough will push up around the edges of the pb cup. Allow to cool in pan and carefully slide cup out of tin using a form or knife (plastic utensils won’t scratch your pans).