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.
What is the healthiest substitute for butter?
Extra light olive oil, by a LONG shot. Coconut oil is healthier than shortening as well, but it pales in comparison to extra light olive oil. While extra light olive oil has a neutral taste and is used in baking, there are some recipes where it is not a good substitute because it doesn’t work well with the other ingredients.. However, for most recipes, it works out well!
How long will peanut butter blossom cookies stay fresh?
If stored properly (in an airtight container in the fridge), they will stay fresh for up to a week, or longer if you freeze them.
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 :).
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.
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.
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.
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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! 😉
- 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
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.
Add half the flour, stir until combined. Add in the remaining flour, and stir until combined.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls and roll in granulated sugar to coat. Place on ungreased baking sheet.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned. While cookies are baking, unwrap Hershey kisses.
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.
Credit: Recipe adapted from Hershey's.