Healthier Peanut Butter Blossoms

Healthier Peanut Butter Blossoms

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Peanut butter blossoms are a staple at Christmas parties and cookie exchanges. I’ve also heard through the grapevine that peanut butter blossoms are one of Santa’s favorite cookies ;). Keeping along the theme of healthify-ing (trademarking that term now!) classic Christmas cookies, these healthier peanut butter blossoms are no different. I’ve substituted in extra light olive oil for the shortening, along with cutting back on some of the sugar. Because hey, who stops eating at just one Christmas cookie amiright? These healthier peanut butter blossoms taste just like the originals, but with a lot less saturated fat, and less sugar. A win-win in my book! I have also rewritten the instructions so that they are easier and faster to make. 🙂

Can I freeze peanut butter blossom cookies?

Yes! You can either freeze them before baking, or you can freeze them after they are baked. To freeze prior to baking, shape the dough into the 1-inch balls as directed in step 4 below, but do not roll them in the granulated sugar. Place the balls on a wax lined baking sheet and place in the freezer until frozen. Once frozen, transfer them to a labeled freezer bag for up to 3 months. When you are ready to bake them, remove the frozen balls from the freezer, roll in the granulated sugar. Then bake as directed,  adding 3-6 minutes to the baking time. To freeze after baking, transfer cooled cookies to a labeled freezer bag for up to 2 months.

Can you use butter instead of shortening in peanut butter cookies?

Yes! You can actually substitute in a lot of things for the shortening: butter, other butter substitutes, coconut oil, or extra light olive oil like I have done here. Just be aware that the texture of the cookies might change a little bit.

How to Make Healthier Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies

1. Preheat oven to 375F. In a large bowl, mix together extra light olive oil, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, baking soda, Kosher salt, peanut butter, vanilla extract, and milk. Now, I know this is not proper form for baking, mixing in all the wet and dry ingredients together in a single step. BUT, it makes cleanup a lot easier, and it is much more practical. Most people are making several different types of cookies in preparation for Christmas, so I am all in favor for making recipes as simple as possible. I promise your cookies will still come out good :).

Extra light olive oil, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, an egg, Kosher salt, baking soda, creamy peanut butter, vanilla extract, and almond milk sit in a large glass bowl unmixed. The bowl sits on a white marble background. Extra light olive oil, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, an egg, Kosher salt, baking soda, creamy peanut butter, vanilla extract, and almond milk have been mixed together in a large glass bowl. The bowl sits on a white marble background.

2. Add half the flour, stir until combined. Add in the remaining flour, and stir until combined. Getting the amount of flour right for this recipe is critical. If you add in too much flour, your cookie will be crumbly. In the recipe, you will see that I have specified 1 1/2 scant cups of all-purpose flour for this reason. Undercut the amount of flour here. Also, when baking, it is always best to weigh out your flour versus measuring it with a measuring. Weighing out your flour is more accurate.

Addition of half the flour to the mixture in a large glass bowl sitting on a white marble background. A large slotted stainless steel spoon sticks out of the mixture.

The dough in a large glass bowl after mixing in half the flour. The bowl sits on a white marble background. A large slotted stainless steel spoon sticks out of the dough.
The dough after mixing in half of the flour.
The dough in a large glass bowl after mixing in all of the flour. The bowl sits on a white marble background. A large slotted stainless steel spoon sticks out of the dough.
The dough after mixing in all of the flour.

3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and roll in granulated sugar to coat. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Because the cookies don’t really spread out, you can actually pack them in closer than I did here. You could easily add in another row and column, for a total of 20 balls as opposed to 12.

Healthier peanut butter blossom dough shaped into 1-inch balls, coated with granulated sugar, and placed on a textured aluminum baking sheet prior to baking.

4. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned. While cookies are baking, unwrap Hershey kisses. Now, in a lot of versions of this recipe they advise you to count out the Hershey kisses that you think you will need in advance, and then unwrap them as the oven as preheating. I don’t know about you, but my cookie yields are never what the package says they should be :). This is likely because I still scoop my cookies by hand, as opposed to using a cookie scooper. A better method, in my biased opinion, is to unwrap the Hershey kisses while the cookies are baking. This way you will know exactly how many Hershey kisses you will need, and you won’t be left with a bunch of unwrapped kisses that don’t have a cookie home! Remove baking sheet from oven and immediately press a Hershey kiss into the center of the cookie. The perimeter of the cookie will crack as you press the kiss down. To set the cookies, chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. The last row in the photo below shows what the cookies look like right when they come out of the oven.

Healthier peanut butter blossoms on a textured aluminum baking sheet after baking. The first three rows have Hershey kisses pushed down in the center. The last row is what the cookies look like right when they come out of the oven.

ARE YOU MAKING THIS RECIPE OR OTHERS?
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Healthier peanut butter blossoms sit on a wire cooling rack in the upper right corner. In the upper left corner, is a dark green kitchen towel. Scattered about in the foreground are red, green, and silver foil wrapped Hershey kisses. This is the horizontal image.
4.86 from 7 votes
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Healthier Peanut Butter Blossoms

These healthier peanut butter blossoms are great for Christmas parties, cookie exchanges, and for Santa's plate! 😉

Course Cookies
Cuisine American
Keyword christmas cookies, healthier peanut butter blossoms, peanut butter blossoms
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 30 cookies
Calories 124 kcal
Author The Panicked Foodie

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons extra light olive oil (original is 1/2 cup shortening)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar (original is 1/3 cup)
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar (original is 1/3 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk of your choice (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1 1/2 scant cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3-1/2 cup additional granulated sugar for rolling

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.

  2. In a large bowl, mix together extra light olive oil, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, baking soda, Kosher salt, peanut butter, vanilla extract, and milk.

  3. Add half the flour, stir until combined. Add in the remaining flour, and stir until combined.

  4. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and roll in granulated sugar to coat. Place on ungreased baking sheet.

  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned. While cookies are baking, unwrap Hershey kisses.

  6. Remove baking sheet from oven and immediately press a Hershey kiss into the center of the cookie. The perimeter of the cookie will crack as you press the kiss down. To set the cookies, chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Credit: Recipe adapted from Hershey's.

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These healthier peanut butter blossoms are perfect for cookie exchanges, Christmas parties, and for Santa's plate! Easy to make and made in a single bowl! #thepanickedfoodie #peanutbutterblossoms #peanutbutterblossomseasy #christmascookies #christmascookieseasy #holidays #baking #chocolate #peanutbutter


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