There are some things in life that just go together, or it doesn’t feel right. Christmas day and snow. Peanut butter and jelly. Burgers and fries. Spongebob and Patrick. Me and Mean Girls quotes. But most importantly for our recipe today: dark chocolate and sea salt. In the form of perfect peanut butter blossom cookies. Don’t worry, there’s a paleo option too for you peanut butter haters/intolerants.
I grew up making peanut butter blossoms every year when my family and best friend would make our epic list of Christmas cookies. #throwback to before I had any food allergies. Whomp, whomp. But anyway. The combination of peanut butter + chocolate has been one of my all-time favorites, like, FOREVER. Seriously, I don’t know what’s wrong with you if you don’t like nut butter + chocolate. Reese’s?? A spoon of nut butter + dairy-free chocolate chips ? Heaven. For everyone but my Dad. Which is fine, because that means more for me.
Fast forward a few years, through high school, college, and tons of food intolerances, and I’m a glutard/lactard. No more peanut butter blossoms for me. BUT. I did find out, amongst many food allergy tests and lots of self-experimentation, that I do better with peanut butter than with the other paleo nut butters. Riddle me that, but hey, I’m not complaining. We’re talking organic, natural peanut butter here – just nuts. That’s it. Just stay away from JIF with all their added chemicals and stuff. That stuff is good for NO ONE. Mmmm, high fructose corn syrup (*vomit*). But if you don’t do well with peanuts, substitute almond butter or sunflower seed butter. Just as delicious, I swear.
So this year, we decided to make these babies again. A couple versions of them to be exact, to see which ones turned out best, and which ones we’d be making for every year going forward.
Know what we found out? The best peanut butter blossoms are flourless. WINNING. One of the reasons I don’t do a lot of gluten-free or paleo baking is because all those weird combinations of flours are just too much for me. Ain’t nobody got time for that. So these flourless goodies? I can get down with those.
Did I mention they’re insanely addicting?
It’s seriously a problem. I can’t eat only one. Always two. I mean, I probably could. Buy why would I? They’re SO GOOD. And it’s not like I’m eating the whole batch and feeling sick to my stomach and guilty about it. Now that wouldn’t be fun at all. AND then I wouldn’t be able to eat the cookies for more than one day! Where’s the fun in that?! These are definitely my all-time favorite Christmas cookie. And I’ll be making them for every special occasion/potluck/time I feel like it just for fun. Which may be…all the time. Oops.
Funny thing was, the original recipe from The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion (LOL, not getting much use out of that one any more) that we tested out said this dough would make 4 dozen cookies. HA. You’ll see when you make the dough what a lie that is. We used a medium sized cookie scoop and got about 2 dozen out of it. 4 dozen cookies, my a**. Maybe if they were baby sized. Like literally the size of a cheerio or two. Fools.
I like to use dark chocolate hershey’s kisses once in a while for this recipe, because I’m too lazy to make my own. But you could also substitute a chunk of dark chocolate or a small cluster of 3-4 dairy-free chocolate chips !
Now, it’s your turn. Try and see if you can eat just one. I dare you. may the odds be ever in your favor.
- 1 cup peanut butter → for paleo, substitute sunbutter or almond butter
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup maple sugar (substitute: coconut sugar)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp sea salt + coarse sea salt, for topping
- 2 dozen dark chocolate hershey’s kisses (homemade, for strict paleo or substitute dark chocolate chips)
- Preheat the oven to 375 F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet.
- With a stand mixer or hand beater, beat together the peanut butter, egg, sugar, baking soda, and salt until smooth. The dough will be crumbly. Use your hands to make a large ball with the dough so it all comes together.
- Use a tablespoon or cookie scoop to drop balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake the cookies for about 10-12 minutes, until they’re golden brown around the edges but not cooked all the way through.
- Remove them from the oven and immediately place a hershey’s kiss or chocolate chips in the middle of each cookie, pressing the cookie about halfway down. Don’t squish it!
- Allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Top the batch off with a pinch of coarse sea salt.
What’s your favorite holiday cookie?