Peanut Butter Blossoms

chocolate peanut butter blossomsI love finding a bargain!

I was shopping with the girls in our local Pamida when I saw two grocery carts full of “reduced for quick sale” items – including several bags of dark chocolate Hershey kisses. I grabbed all there were for just $1 a bag!

A good buy like that deserves to be rewarded – so we made these traditional – and so yummy Peanut butter cookies.

Peanut Butter Blossoms

48 Hershey’s dark chocolate kisses (with wrappers removed)
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup shortening
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 packed brown sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
granulated sugar

Beat peanut butter and shortening with an electric mixer on medium speed. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and 1/3 cup brown sugar. Cream together.

Add egg, milk, and vanilla; beat well.

Stir together flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually beat into the peanut butter mixture.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Roll in the additional granulated sugar before placing on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate kiss into the center of each cookie. Cool completely on a wire rack.


Hershey’s Chocolate Cookbook

Hershey's Chocolate Cookbook

I not only have a chocolate addiction, but I’m also addicted to cookbooks. Finding a cookbook that features chocolate is like striking gold!

I must say, that I have looked at many chocolate cookbooks over the years, but not many have found their way to my collection. Why? Because not all chocolate cookbooks are created equal.

The Hershey’s Chocolate Cookbook , however,  is a classic.

It’s filled with real recipes – you know that kind that use real ingredients that I already have in my cupboard or can easily find at my local grocery store.

The directions are easy to follow – not complicated and don’t call for strange or unusual processes.

But the real highlight of this book is the gorgeous full-cover picture for every recipe.  And I mean gorgeous!

These photographers are amazing! My kids are forever leafing through the book, drooling over the pictures and begging me to make something.

Which is what I should be doing right now – making something chocolate – something warm and rich and gooey.

Now how’s turn is it to choose the recipe?

Buddy’s 7th Birthday Cake

My baby turned 7 yesterday. Made me feel a little old, but also more wise and experienced. I sat down and figured out that his birthday cake was the 54th one that I created. I learned a few things along the way, like the more involved the birthday child is, the more they will love their cake. I also learned that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that even if my cake will never grace the cover of Better Homes and Gardens, it will make a child feel special and that’s what’s most important. And above all else, make sure it tastes great! Over the years we’ve designed some very unique cake creations, and this year was no exception. Together, Buddy and I designed an amazing Race Track Cake, complete with a NASCAR race in the chocolate oval with a TV satellite truck, ambulance and wrecker on the side lines! We made a simple chocolate sheet cake brownie, frosted it with Cool Whip (my other birthday secret! It saves time and tastes great!), then outlined the track in M&M’s before filling it with a crushed Hershey bar. The outfield grass was just green sugar sprinkles. All of the cars came from his Matchbox Cars collection. He was so proud of that cake! And it tasted great, too!

Cookie Sheet Chocolate Brownies:

Combine 1 stick margarine, 1 cup water, 1/4 c. cocoa and 1/2 c. cooking oil in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Pour over 2 c. flour, 2 c. sugar, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Add 1/2c. buttermilk, 2 eggs, 1 tsp. soda, and 1 tsp. vanilla. Blend and pour into greased cookie sheet and bake 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees.