Sanity with Sarah: Peanut Butter Nest Cookies - Easy Baking with Kids!
One of the side effects of being “the mom who bakes” is that people think I am baking 24/7, even during the Coronapocalypse.
My parish priest actually just sent an email to check in on me and the kids (sweetest man ever), lamenting at all the delicious baked goods he and the congregation are missing out on during this craziness lol. Um. No. To be perfectly honest, I’m really not in the headspace for making elaborate baked goods right now, and I hate the thought of putting a lot of work into decorated sugar cookies that will just sit there and not get eaten by my husband and kids.
I. Love. Peanut Butter Blossoms.
My kids know it, too. It’s my cookie kryptonite, and I can usually have my arm twisted to make a batch, even if I’m not really feeling like baking. They are so delicious and easy to make, and I pretty much always have everything we need to make them in the house.
Since it’s only a few days before Easter [editor's note: I posted this after Easter, sorry, Sarah!], I decided to let the kids give them a spring makeover.
We split the dough into 3 bowls and added some of my Cookie Countess neon gel colors to give them an Easter vibe, and then put some spring-y Sweetapolita sprinkles on top before baking. And instead of putting the traditional Hershey Kiss on top after they came out of the oven, we used Hershey eggs to make them look like little nests (if you have more than one child, prepare yourself to arbitrate arguments over who gets to open all the “piiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiink ones” or something similar. No? Just me? Mmkay.) Much sugar was spilled on my kitchen floor, and many little hands are now (temporarily) rainbow-dyed, but we had fun and have already eaten quite a few cookies.
Peanut Butter Nests Ingredients and Recipe
(Adapted from Hersheys.com recipe for PB Kisses)
- Milk chocolate Hershey kisses or eggs
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar (plus extra for rolling dough in)
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 Tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1.5 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Gel food coloring and sprinkles (if desired)
- Heat oven to 375°F. Unwrap chocolates and set aside for now.
- Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.
- If coloring dough, separate into smaller bowls. We tried incorporating the food coloring by hand, but we ultimately found it much easier and quicker to pop the portion of dough back in the mixer to mix the food coloring in.
- Shape dough into 1-inch balls. If you are going to add sprinkles to the top, do it now, while the dough is still a bit sticky. Roll the rest of the ball in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each cookie; cookie will crack around edges. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.
The Hershey recipe says it will make 48 cookies, but we must like our cookies a bit fatter, because I have never come anywhere close to that amount. But hey, it’s cookies. I say, live your life!