Peanut Butter Blossoms
Beat peanut butter, shortening, 2/3 cup white sugar, brown sugar, milk, eggs, and vanilla extract together with an electric mixer in a large bowl until creamy and smooth.
Sift flour, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl. Gradually fold flour mixture into peanut butter mixture to form a smooth dough. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Pour 1/4 cup white sugar into a shallow bowl. Scoop dough into 1-inch balls, roll balls in sugar, and place 1 1/2 inches apart on baking sheets.
Bake cookies in the preheated oven for 6 minutes; rotate cookie sheets and continue baking for another 3 minutes. Press a chocolate kiss about halfway down in the center of each cookie. Bake for until chocolate begins to melt and lose form, another 2 to 3 minutes. Cool on wire racks until chocolate hardens, at least 3 hours.
Refrigerate dough at least 1 hour to make dough easier to work with before shaping balls. This also helps retain the shape when baking and avoid too much cracking when adding kisses.
Prep kisses by unwrapping foils and lining them upright on a plate or cookie sheet for easy transfer to cookie dough. Baking dough too long before adding kisses can cause kisses to fall out of the cookie dough when cooled. Kisses need to bake long enough to adhere to the cookie base but not to the point that they lose shape. Do not over bake!
Stacking cookies before chocolate has fully cooled and hardened will cause them to squish and loose shape. Freeze immediately when cooled. I’ve kept them up to 2 months and they taste as fresh as the day they were baked. Try also carmel-filled kisses or other chocolate candy (add caramel-filled kisses during last 2 minutes bake time and increase cooling time by at least 1 hour).
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