Saturday, August 20, 2011

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies: Prettier in Pink!




I wanted to make something simple and fun after the golf course, so I chose these adorable cookies. I first saw these cookies here: http://dailynibbles.com/2011/02/01/in-the-kitchen-pink-peanut-butter-hugs/, and immediately fell in love. Pink is my favorite color, they mimic the hot pink/zebra combination that is so popular right now, and they just make me smile. Turns out, as is often the case with baking something for the first time, it wasn't so easy! Coloring these correctly took a few tries...3 batches of dough later I was finally pleased with the result.

To make these cookie you will need the following things:


Your favorite Peanut Butter Cookie recipe, pink sanding sugar, Hershey Hugs, neon pink gel food coloring, and red gel food coloring (optional). I have a Peanut Butter Cookie recipe I have been following forever and I love it so much I would hesitate to even think about using another one. Here it is:

Peanut Butter Cookies (adapted from Betty Crocker's Cookbook)

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter (I prefer Reese's Peanut Butter)
1/4 cup shortening (I prefer Crisco baking sticks, butter flavor)
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons milk
1 egg
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Cream together the butter, shortening, and peanut butter. Mix in sugars, egg and milk. Add the remaining ingredients. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll the dough into 1 1/2 - 2 inch balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet at least three inches apart. Using a fork make a crisscross pattern by pressing down on the cookie. Dip the fork in flour between cookies to prevent the dough from sticking. Bake between 9-10 minutes. Let cookies cool several minutes before removing them from cookie sheet.

Since I was making pink cookies, I added a few drops of AmeriColor's Christmas Red gel food dye. I read this would make a terrific shade of hot pink. I used a hand mixer to incorporate the color; doing it by hand proved to be impossible for me, I am not strong enough to evenly mix it completely.

I had some issues with coloring the dough, which I will explain in a moment. Once the desired color is mixed into the dough, roll it into 1 1/2 - 2 inch balls, dredge through pink sugar until fully coated, and bake:




After the cookies are finished baking, immediately place a Hershey Hug in the middle of the cookie, pressing it down about 1/2 way. The Hug will keep it's shape as long as it's not touched (the chocolate will half melt from the heat of the cookie). Once the cookie and the chocolate cool completely, the Hug will become solid again and the cookies can be packaged or placed in an airtight container to store.


Voila! Adorable hot pink zebra strip peanut butter cookies! Now, let's go over coloring the dough.

For the first batch I mixed up, I didn't think it was possible for it to turn pink with only a few drops of Christmas red, so I added some neon pink. I baked them and was not pleased. So, I mixed up another batch and mixed in the neon pink, still was skeptical of how they would look baked, panicked and added some red. This was close, much better, but still too dark for my taste. After thinking about it, and not ready to give up, I decided to mix up a third batch of dough and split it in two. In one half I mixed in only Christmas red dye. In the other half, I mixed in only neon pink. Here are the results of all four trials:

From Top to bottom: Uncooked dough, baked cookie with no sugar, finished cookie with sugar and hug.
The first column is the mostly red dye with some neon pink added. The second column is mostly neon pink with some red added. The third column is red dye only, and the fourth neon pink only. I had to use my judgement on how much dye to add. I was almost ready to stop at my second attempt (second column), but I'm happy I experimented with only using one color. Here is a close-up of column two and column four finished cookies, the two I decided were closest shade of the hot pink I was trying to achieve:

Cookie on left is neon pink and red dye, cookie on right is neon pink dye only.
The cookie on the left had a bit too much of a red hue and in certain light did not appear pink enough. So, the cookie on the right is the winner! I mixed approximately 6 drops of food coloring in one batch of cookie dough. I may add a bit more to darken the pink a bit, but three batches of cookies later I finally achieved my goal and I'm happy!


43 comments:

  1. These are so cute! I'd vote for column #4, also!! Nice work, Debbie - I love that you show the places where you found your inspirations, too. Can't wait for Tuesday's creation.

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  2. Самые вкусные розовые полосатые печенья. Спасибо Дебби!

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  3. How many cookies does a batch of dough make?

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  4. I LOVE THIS! I'm definitely making these for my younger sister's birthday. She's obsessed w/ the color pink and animal prints! THANK YOU!!!

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  5. This recipe makes approximately 3 dozen cookies. I'm so glad you like these cookies! For some reason, I find myself drawn to pink desserts and these are so cute I just had to make them! I hope your sister enjoys them on her birthday!! If you have a chance let me know how they turn out. :)

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  6. i love this! the pink is awesome but the red would work for christmas!!!

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  7. I agree! Can't wait to try it for the holidays. :)

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  8. These are SOOOOO Cute!!!! Definitely gonna make them soon :)Just found your blog today!

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  9. why is the milk posted 2 times do i add it 2 times?

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  10. Thanks, Charissa! I hope you love the way they turn out!

    The milk is not supposed to be added twice! It was a mistake I will fix right now. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. :)

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  11. When is the food coloring supposed to be added during the process? Also, what kinda of food coloring is best? I am going to be making these for a holiday party with hersheys candy cane kisses! Red and white! SO CUTE!

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  12. I Love the zebra look :)

    I am hosting a baby shower in pink/brown theme- I wonder if I could use regular pink gel colouring (and pink sugar) and add a reg hersheys kiss

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  13. I'd learn it soon. It's all about practice at home. I had read a review (cousine magazine ABC) and they showed me how easy can be.

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  14. Fabulous cookies.. a nice mixture using kisses to make them looks a few better. I'll have to prepare these peanut butter kiss cookies when I arrive at home.

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  15. Where does one find hot pink food coloring? I only have red. phoooey. {so mine actually turned out light pink}

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  16. Thanks for all of the compliments, everyone! I have been away visiting India the past few weeks so I have not been able to reply.

    Emily, you can add the dye to the dough after it's completely mixed. I've both used a hand mixer and wooden spoon to combine the dye, but I find kneading it in works best. I use gel dye.

    Debcom, there is no limit to the combinations you can make! Just add a little dye at a time to achieve the color you want.

    Christina, I found hot pink gel at Michaels. It is in the cake baking/accessory section and the brand is Duff's. If you don't have a Michaels in your area, try any local craft store. Also, you can search online to purchase it. Good luck!

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  17. Looks so delicious & pretty...I want to give this a try, Found you via whats cooking Wednesday linky party.Would like to invite you to my linky party
    Midweek Fiesta

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  18. Love love love these cookies! What a CUTE idea & perfect for my daughters 3rd bday party this weekend! Her theme is Minnie Mouse with pink & black zebra! I'm gonna do a test batch tomorrow but had 2 questions. My first is do u still use the fork to make a criss cross pattern in the dough after the balls are formed or is that only in regular peanut butter cookies? Also sanding sugar is that the same as regular sugar or is the texture different? I'm having a hard time finding pink sanding sugar but do have pink sugar from last years birthday party! Sorry if these are dumb questions just wanna get it right the first time! Thanks, Terra ;-)

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  19. Thank you, Amy!

    Terra, These cookies sound perfect for your daughter's party! You do not criss cross these cookies before baking. They are baked the same way as Peanut Butter Blossoms. Per Gourmet Sleuth: Sanding sugar is a large crystal sugar used as an edible decoration that will not dissolve when subjected to heat. Also called pearl sugar or decorating sugar, sanding sugar adds "sparkle" to cookies, baked goods and candies. The sparkling affect is achieved because the sugar crystal grains are large and reflect light.

    Sanding sugar is available at baking supply and some specialty stores.

    I'm sure your pink sugar from last year will be fine. Good luck! :)

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  20. So doing this but with blue for when our baby boy is born

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    1. Oh, Blue!! That will be great! If you follow me on FB please post a picture, I'd love to see them!!! Congratulations on your Baby Boy. :)

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  21. These are so freaking adorable! I'm going to bake a batch for Valentine's Day. Pinning right now!

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    1. Thank you so much, Maria! I hope you enjoy the cookies when you make them. I appreciate you stopping by Life Is Sweets and pinning these cookies!! Have a great weekend. :)

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  22. where can you find pink sanding sugar

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    1. Hi, Lacey! You can find pink sanding sugar in baking stores or craft stores that have baking sections, such as Michaels. Also, you can find it online if you do quick search. Hope this helps!

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  23. Girl you've got it down to a science! I love watching the trials and differences in baking b/c i'm so gosh darn awful at it I learn through images and explanations like yours -- so thank you! <3 love your blog and this cookie!

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    1. Aww, Jenn! That means a lot to me! I'm trying most of these things for the first time myself, so if I learn something I'd like to share it with someone else. I've never considered myself a baker but I'm having a lot of fun experimenting. I hope you have great luck baking this cookie and it inspires you to try other recipes!! :)

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  24. I'll be featuring YOU Thursday morning over on my blog. Thank you so much for sharing at last week's {wow me} wednesday party. Can't wait to see what you link up this week. :)

    Ginger @ gingersnapcrafts.com

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    1. Oh, thank you so much!! You've absolutely made my day! :) I'll link up something fun for tomorrow!

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  25. Those look delicious, I'll be making them for Valentines Day this year, thanks for sharing! I'm stopping in from Ginger Snap Crafts today.
    -Molly @ justalittlecreativity.blogspot.com

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  26. You did a lot of testing to get the right color - this is seriously good info! : )

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    1. Thanks, Heather! You could say I was a woman obsessed! I hope it will help others, that's what I'm aiming to do with this blog! Have a great day!!

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  27. I just made these and the kisses melted and didnt keep there shape , they are yummy but im makeing them for a party and just wanted to see how they came out any suggestions?

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  28. I made a double batch of these last night, and I don't know what I did wrong, but my cookies turned out nothing like these :(. I tried putting the kisses on several different ways (when they first came out of the oven - the kisses melted right through the centre on the cooling rack!; a few minutes after they came out - the kisses melted into little blobs of chocolate; putting the kisses on before they went in the oven - the kisses stayed the best shape this way, but the tops were burned; I tried freezing the kisses first so they wouldn't melt so fast, and this gave me the best result. As for the cookies themselves, I don't know where I went wrong in the recipe, but the dough was too soft to roll or roll in the sugar and it melted in my hands so I cooled it in the fridge for a few hours before cooking it. Once I took it out of the fridge, it became too soft within minutes. When I rolled the dough into 1-1/2 inch balls, they spread like crazy - the cookies were bigger than my hands! They also flattened out like crazy, so they look more like witches hats than your cute cookies :( any hints on what to do different next time?

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  29. Super! Las Comparti en Mi blog...mommyscupcakesmore.blogspot.com

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  30. These are perfect for my friends baby shower!! What a cute idea :)

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  31. my cookies are going flat what am i doing wrong????

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  32. thanks for sharing.

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  33. My cookie dough is so gooey and hard to roll. Once baked the cookies are flat :(. HELP!!!

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  34. I want to make these for my daughters class but they can't contain any peanut butter/peanuts in them. Do you think it will work the same with sugar cookie recipe?

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  35. I had the same problem with gooey cookie dough & flat cookies, I read they should be like play dough so I just kept adding flour little by little until I felt it was good. After I mixed in the color I stuck them in the fridge for a few hours and they turned out great! Tip freezing the candy first helps a bit, they will hold their shape if you DO NOT TOUCH them AT ALL!

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