But I have a confession to make …
I didn’t make these for my sweetie.
No. I shared the love of these tasty little cookies with someone else. But it’s okay, and my sweetie is okay with it.
See, I have a new baking project. For me The Kitchen is My Playground has always been about more than cooking, baking, and writing about it. It’s also an opportunity to do something I love … cook & bake … that I would do no matter what … and turn it into an opportunity to give back to the community. Even if it’s in just a small way.
And so I began this newest baking project back in October, and have continued with a new sweet treat each month since.
Who is the recipient of my confections, you ask? Well, it’s not just one person … it’s the group of children in residence at a place simply known as The Shelter, … our local battered women’s shelter. The Shelter strives to empower victims of domestic violence by providing emergency shelter, advocacy, and support on their journey to an abuse free life. And in so doing, at any given time, they are typically providing shelter to about 20 children.
I am happy to share this tiny token of love with these children.
For this month’s treat, I was specifically asked to make Valentine cookies. No problem there … I was definitely game for that! So I put on my thinking cap and came up with this sprinkle-covered adaptation of the classic peanut butter blossom cookie. But with chocolate. ‘Cause in my book, chocolate beats peanut butter any day.
I got myself ready with unwrapped Hershey Hugs and Kisses and an assortment of pretty Valentine sprinkles, …
… whipped up some tasty chocolate cookie dough, rolled the dough into balls, and coated each ball completely in sprinkles.
Then I just baked them up and popped a Kiss (or Hug … but the Kisses work better) in the center of each one.
So cute! I just love how fun they look in a group with all the different sprinkles.
Now, Hugs taste just great in these cookies, but they tend to melt into little pools of zebra stripes instead of staying intact like the Kisses do. See?
It’s a cool look … but just wanted to make you aware of the melting. You know, full disclosure and all.
- 1 c. all-purpose flour
- ⅓ c. cocoa powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 8 T. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- ⅔ c. sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 T. milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ¾ to 1 c. assorted Valentine sprinkles
- 25 to 30 Hershey Kisses or Hugs candies, unwrapped
- Combine flour, cocoa, and salt; set aside.
- With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg yolk, milk, and vanilla; mix until incorporated. Reduce mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture until just combined.
- Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, 1 hour.
- Roll chilled dough into 1-inch balls and roll each ball in sprinkles, completely covering the dough ball with sprinkles. Place balls about 2 inches apart on a baking sheet. With your thumb, gently press down into the center of each ball just slightly to make a very small indentation. Chill the baking sheet of dough balls in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Bake at 350 degrees until set, about 12 minutes.
- After removing cookies from the oven, immediately place a Hershey Kiss or Hug in the center of each cookie. Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for about 3 minutes, remove to a cooling rack to cool.
Source: Concept inspired by classic peanut butter blossom cookies; chocolate dough adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
Tracey is a first grade teacher by day, and kitchen adventurer by night (and weekend!). You can follow along with her adventures at www.thekitchenismyplayground.com, or on Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest.
Then… be sure to check out More Cookie Recipes!!