Chocolate Blossoms

I know it is not even Thanksgiving yet, but once I saw these Holiday Hershey Kisses were back on the shelves this weekend, I knew I had to make these again. These are my absolute favorite Christmas cookie to make. If I make as many this year as I did last, Hershey and Ghirardelli should not have to worry about their holiday sales numbers! lol

If you haven’t had these specific kisses before, they are candy cane flavored, and pair wonderfully with these chocolate cookies. The recipe comes from America’s Test Kitchen, and is fairly easy to make, even if you are a beginner like me. Two words of wisdom on these if you decide to make them. First, only bake one sheet of cookies at a time, roughly in the middle of your oven. Above that, you need to have an empty baking sheet near the top rack. If not, once the cookies go back in the oven with the candies added, you will turn the tops of the candies brown, taking away from their pure white and red coloring. This will not change the taste, but makes for a poor presentation. Second, do NOT touch the kisses until completely cooled. Chocolate retains its shape when melted (for the most part). They will look hard and in tact, but if you touch one before they are completely cooled, the kiss will cave under the pressure. I cool my cookies on a rack for 30 minutes or so, then place the rack in the freezer for an additional 30 minutes to complete the cool down process. After that, the kisses cookies are fine to be handled and eaten or stored.

Enjoy!

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Just out of the oven to cool. If you touch the kiss at this point, it will cave and fall.

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Chocolate Blossoms

Ingredients

1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour

¼ cup (3/4 ounces) Dutch-processed cocoa powder

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

2/3 cup (4 2/3 ounces) sugar

1 large egg plus 1 large egg white

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

24-26 Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses, unwrapped

Directions

Heat oven to 350 degrees, and line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl. Microwave butter and chocolate in bowl at 50 percent power, stirring often until melted. Let cool slightly. Add sugar, egg and egg white, and vanilla and mix until combined. Using rubber spatula, stir in flour mixture until just incorporated. Let dough sit until thickened, about 5 minutes.

Working with 1 tablespoon dough at a time, roll into balls and space them 2 inches apart on prepared sheet. Bake until puffed and just set, 10-12 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Working quickly, remove sheet from oven and place 1 candy in center of each cookie, pressing down lightly. Return sheet to oven* and bake two minutes longer. Let cookies cool on sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and let cool completely before serving.

*Note: Place an empty baking sheet on the top rack in the oven prior to placing the cookies with candies back into the oven. If you do not, the tops of the kisses will discolor, turning brown from the direct heat. This does not affect taste, but makes for poor presentation. If you need to bake in batches, do it verse placing two sheets with cookies in the oven at the same time.

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