These peanut butter blossom cookies have a secret ingredient that boosts the nutty saltiness of peanut butter making these cookies amazing!
When I was chatting with my friend Casey last year for an article in CNN about holiday cookies, she mentioned that her go-to cookie for the holidays, the one that she ALWAYS needs to bake, non-negotiable, were peanut butter blossoms! And it surprised me because I hadn’t thought about them since my Midwest youth, a cookie that was much coveted when friend’s parents made them. I have so many recipes for classic cookies on this blog, including ginger molasses cookies, bakery-style chocolate chips cookies, chocolate crackle cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, and monster cookies but none for peanut butter blossoms!
So, I set out to make a version that not only lived up to my nostalgic memory but exceeded them. The secret ingredient that elevates these cookies? Salty slightly funky red miso paste! A magical ingredient that boosts the nuttiness of the peanut butter and adds salty dimension that makes these cookies better than the classic. Promise!
How do you make these cookies?
Making these cookies looks daunting but they’re super easy. Cream butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, white sugar, miso paste, baking soda, and vanilla extract all together until a thick creamy paste forms that clings the side of the bowl. Beat in an egg. Then gently mix in the flour. Roll rounds of cookie dough in coarse sugar, then bake!
Once the cookies have baked, while they are still warm in the oven, gently press a Hershey’s kiss into each cookie. The heat from the cookie will melt the chocolate, acting like “glue” to affix the Hershey’s kiss to the cookie. Let the cookie cool completely and then move to a wire rack for the chocolate to cool and solidify.
What’s the role of red miso paste and can I skip it?
Miso paste is fermented soybean and is typically used in Japanese and Asian savory cooking. But it’s a great secret ingredient in baking because it adds an extra salty savory dimension. I use it in my miso chocolate chip and black sesame cookie, my miso caramel and soy sauce brownie, and my funky miso cranberry and pistachio cookies. Almost everyone I’ve served cookies with miso in them always asks why they taste so amazing. No one can tell that there is miso in them. They just taste extra fantastic!
Miso boosts the nutty and peanut flavor of the peanut butter, and the saltiness of the miso complements the chocolate, tempering the sweetness and enhancing the chocolate flavor.
I use red miso paste, which is the strongest of the miso flavors. But if you have yellow or white miso paste, you can use that in its place. If you don’t have miso, or find the idea of miso a little odd, just skip that step and add in 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt instead.
How to store these cookies
These cookies are best eaten within a day or two of baking them. But if you store these cookies at room temperature in an airtight container or under a cake dome, they should keep for up to 5 days. You can also freeze the cookies. Place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet in the freezer for 2 hours, or until they are frozen solid. Then store them in a resealable freezer Ziploc bag for up to 2 months. Thaw them for a couple of hours on the counter or at room temperature before serving.
For even easier storage, you can place the Hershey’s kiss UPSIDE DOWN, with the tip of the kiss pointing into the cookie. The flat base of the Hershey’s kiss will make the cookie easier to store on top of each other (though it won’t look quite the same as the classic peanut butter blossom cookie).
If you like these Peanut Butter Blossom cookies, check out these other cookie recipes!
- Chocolate Salted Caramel Cookies
- Hot Cocoa Cookies
- Pumpkin Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies
- Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Brown Butter Blondies
- Christmas Tree Gingerbread Cookies
- Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies (that taste like mint chocolate chip ice cream!)
- Cookies and Cream Cookies
Secret Ingredient Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature, 115 g
- 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter 205 g
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 110 g
- 1/2 cup white sugar 100 g
- 1 tablespoon red miso paste see note below for substitutions
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons milk any kind
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 245 g
- 1/2 cup Turbinado sugar or more white sugar 110 g
- 60 Hershey Kisses regular or dark chocolate version (about an 11 ounce bag)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.Place the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, white sugar, red miso paste, baking soda, and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Mix in low speed, increasing the speed to medium low once the ingredients start to blend, until a thick paste forms that clings to the side of the bowl and all the ingredients are well incorporated.
- Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl and add the egg. Beat to mix in. Scrape down again and add the milk and flour. Mix to incorporate.
- Once the dough has formed, scoop out 1-inch round balls (about a heaping tablespoon) and roll each bowl in the turbinado sugar or white sugar. Place on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until the top of the cookies looked cracked and the top of the cookies look dry and baked (its ok if the inside still looks a little moist). While the pan is baking, unwrap the Hershey’s kisses.
- Once the cookies are done baking, gently by firmly press the Hershey’s kiss into each cookie in the center. The heat of the cookie should melt the chocolate enough to “glue” the kiss to the cookie once it cools. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet and then carefully move the cookies to a wire cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining dough and kisses.