Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Peanut Butter Blossoms

My daughter is the motivating factor in decorating for Christmas. She loves to have a house full of decorations throughout December. This year, I turned her loose. We brought up the dozen or so Christmas tubs from the storage room and she had the green light to distribute the decorations throughout the house as she liked. She assigned me the task of putting the stockings on the mantle. As I arranged them in order of age, my thoughts turned to a Christmas when I was a girl.
Each year, we could expect an orange tucked in the toe of our stocking. One year I recall getting a handful of Hershey Kisses. I remember immediately opening my first one and savoring the milk chocolate treat. As days would pass, I would ration my Kisses to extend the delights as many days as I could. My older sister and I both decided to save our last kiss and put it back in our stocking. Thus with great anticipation nearly a year later, we had a special treat when we decorated for Christmas.
I used to make this recipe much more often when I had little hands that wanted to help me in the kitchen. Chairs would be pushed up to the counter and hands kept busy by unwrapping dozens of little silver wrappings.

Peanut Butter Blossoms

1/2 cup buttered flavored Crisco
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Cream shortening, peanut butter and sugars. Mix in egg, milk, and vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients. Roll dough into 1 inch balls. Dip in granulated sugar. Bake 6-10 minutes until lightly browned on the edges. Remove from oven and immediately press a Hershey kiss in the center of each cookie. Cookie will crack around the edges. Remove from baking sheet.
My favorite way to eat these is just after the chocolate has softened from the heat of the cookie. A warm mouthful of soft peanut butter cookie and melted milk chocolate.

My family hasn't had a Christmas together in over twenty years. I think that's why this time of year, I parallel many tasks of the day with thoughts of yesterdays long ago. In a way- I'm only as far away as my closest memory.

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