I didn’t realize that Hershey’s was making Candy Cane Kisses until I ran across them last week. How did this escape my notice? I love candy canes and all peppermint flavored candies! I always look forward to the candy cane in my Christmas stocking every year :) Still feeling shocked and amazed, I immediately grabbed a package of these white chocolate with red striped kisses.
Within just a few minutes, my mind had jumped to using those kisses in a blossom-style cookie for Sam’s annual cookie exchange. And what better flavors to go together than a chocolate cookie with the mint kiss — they are such a match made in flavor heaven!
I began a search for a super-chocolatey cookie that would work for this type of cookie. It needed to be just a bit cakey, but still buttery and chewy after cooling. I didn’t want it to be too sweet since the kisses are pure sweetness, and I also wanted good vanilla and salt flavors to come through. I couldn’t find one that sounded just right in spite of there being some beautiful examples in blogland, so I compared a few recipes including some from cookbooks, and came up with my own.
I’m happy with this recipe — it behaves just as it should, and tastes just as I wished it to. I have to say that there’s room for change; they could be just a bit more fudgy, but I didn’t want to risk a meltdown in the oven so I stayed away from the fudgy-danger-zone THIS time. But I won’t next time — you may see Peppermint Blossom Cookies v.2 at some point.
Peppermint Blossom Cookies
2 sticks butter (1/2 lb)
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. golden or light brown sugar
1/2 Tbsp. vanilla (1 1/2 tsp.)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2/3 c. good unsweetened baking cocoa
2 c. unbleached all purpose flour, spooned lightly into measuring cups after being stirred to loosen it up in its container/bag, then level with the back of a knife — don’t shake the excess off
1 to 1 1/2 oz dark chocolate, grated fine* (refrigerate after grating)
1 package Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses
Beat room-temperature butter until smooth; add sugars and beat until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine all dry ingredients, except the grated chocolate, and mix into creamed mixture on low speed until thoroughly combined, scraping bowl as needed. Just before everything comes together, add the grated chocolate and finish mixing until thoroughly combined. Optional: refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.
*I typically use either Lindt Excellence or Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate (70%) for my baking. For this, I grated 3 squares from the TJ’s Pounder bar with a fine microplane grater.
Preheat oven to 375F.
Unwrap (peel) the Candy Cane Kisses and stand them upright on a tray or plate. This makes placing them on the cookies go as quickly as possible.
Scoop 1″ balls of dough; use a #60 cookie scoop if available. Roll balls in hands to smooth, then roll in white sugar. Place on cookie sheet about 2″ apart in all directions, then flatten slightly.Bake for 8 minutes, then working as quickly as possible: remove pan from oven and press a kiss into the center of each cookie. Return to oven for 2 to 3 minutes, removing BEFORE kisses lose their shape or caramelize to gold on the point.
Tips: For most attractive results, press the kiss into the cookie about halfway down, taking care to center it and keep it level. The edges of the cookie should crack but you shouldn’t feel that the kiss completely compresses the cakey cookie. The kisses melt fast once they touch the cookie so you can’t go back and tweak them — do it as well as you care to at the first try.
Makes about 4 dozen; you may have some dough or kisses left over depending on the actual size of dough ball you create and how many kisses are actually in your package (mine had about 50; the package’s serving size information suggest that there should have been 60+.)
Don’t they look festive? And delicious? Mmmmm!