Peanut Butter Kisses... Peanut Butter Blossoms... Kiss Cookies... they go by many different names, but they all share the most perfect of taste combinations: peanut butter and chocolate. (What?! You didn't used to walk around with your headphones on eating a tub of peanut butter?!)
Anyhoo, when we first went GF, I really wanted to find a recipe for a peanut butter Hershey Kiss cookie. It's a great one to make with kids because they love unwrapping (and snitching a few) of the Hershey Kisses. And, this recipe is pretty perfect. I'm embarrassed to admit that I sometimes use Skippy when I make these cookies. My kids love it, but feel free to use any smooth peanut butter you like. I'm telling you, when eaten with the Hershey Kiss, these cookies taste like a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. "Two great tastes that taste great together."
And bonus, these cookies freeze well which makes them perfect for your holiday table. Make 2 batches, freeze one and you're set. The dough is on the sticky side and like many gf baking recipes, benefits from a short rest in the fridge before baking. Even so, you'll find the dough quite sticky. Simply rinse your hands in water if you're having trouble rolling the cookie dough into balls.
Also, as you bake, keep in mind that you can control how crispy or chewy the cookies are by tweaking the bake time. I like them sort of chewy, so I cook them just until they start to crack. I just barely let the edges start to turn golden brown.
Gluten Free Peanut Butter Hershey Kiss Cookies, (makes 30-48 cookies depending on size)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1-1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 3 tsps vanilla extract
- 1 cup white rice flour
- 1/2 cup potato starch
- 1/4 cup tapioca flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsps baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Hershey Kisses (1 per cookie)
In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together butter, brown sugar and peanut butter. Add egg, applesauce and vanilla, and blend well. The batter may look slightly curdled because of the applesauce... don't worry, it all comes back together.
In a separate bowl, whisk together white rice flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gradually add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until combined. Cover your stand mixer bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
After an hour, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Shape the dough into 1-1.5" balls. (I have a really hard time measuring these out. Maybe you have an ice cream scooper that is the right size? In any case, try to keep the balls consistent in size. I usually get about 30 cookies out of one batch, but if you want more bite-sized cookies or cookies that are closer in size to your Hershey Kiss, feel free to make them closer to 1" and you should get approx. 48 cookies out of this recipe.) Place balls on Silipat-covered baking sheets approx. 2" apart from each other. Bake for 7 minutes, rotate pans and check after another 4 minutes. If you made bigger-sized cookies (like me), these will take between 13-15 minutes to bake. If you made smaller cookies, keep an eye on them at around them 11 minute mark.
While cookies are baking, unwrap those Hershey Kisses. (Try not to OD on them in the process!) Once cookies are beginning to crack and just starting to lightly brown around the edges, remove them from the oven and quickly place the Kisses on top of the cookies. Push them down slightly into the cookie. Let cookies cool for 5 minutes on baking trays and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.