A light and fluffy peanut butter cookie with a milk chocolate rosette center, which has been rolled in sanding sugar. Christmas Peanut Butter Rosettes will add lots of festive colour and flavour to your holiday baking. These are a great addition to a cookie exchange!
Welcome, Dear Reader, to Day 2 of Lord Byron’s 24 Cookies of Christmas series! Today, we are baking Christmas Peanut Butter Rosettes. These can almost be described as a chocolate thumbprint cookie, but not quite. The great thing about these cookies is that they are very tasty, very light, and takes no baking skill at all! If you can roll cookie dough into a ball, you’re at the top of your class for this one!
HERSHEY’S KISSES WILL WORK IF YOU CAN’T FIND ROSETTES
You might often see cookies that are similar to this one at Christmastime. In most cases, the cookie has a Hershey’s Kisses center. If you cannot find rosettes, a Hershey’s Kisses candy will work perfectly fine.
Do you remember the Neilson’s brand of rosettes? They are extremely hard to find, in fact, I’m not sure they’re even made anymore. I have not seen them in years! They used to make really good rosettes. The Neilson’s brand of rosettes were called Golden Buds. I’ve seen other brands called Rose Buds as well.
These things are so nostalgic for me. We got a box every year in our stocking. In fact, I remember they were also quite popular during Christmas gift exchanges in elementary school. We would get a box of chocolates, and usually a pair of socks or a bottle of Brute aftershave to go with it! Ha!
We would have been between the ages of eight and ten, and getting Brute aftershave as a gift. I think every boy wanted to feel more grown up and manlike, and Brute was extremely popular back in the 80s. I kept a bottle of it on my dresser and would splash – probably way too much! – on before going to school or church. There was no such thing as scent-free back then!
Anyway, I digress. Back to Neilson’s chocolates. Please tell me you remember these! They had a series of them, and I loved the golden buds, but I think my favourites were willocrisp, nut fudge clusters, and slowpokes. I really didn’t care much for the coconut fingers or the coolmints. A thing of the past now, I think. If you know where to find these, please let me know!
MORE CHRISTMAS COOKIE RECIPES!
Did you know that I’ve been posting a 24 Cookies of Christmas series for a few years now? There are over 100 Christmas cookie recipes that you can find right here at Lord Byron’s Kitchen! To make it easier to find, I have created a page for each series. Just click on the image below and you’ll find the full series for that volume all one page!
SUBSTITUTES FOR ROSETTES
You can find rosettes at any baking supply store. Here in Canada, the Bulk Barn carries them. Or, in the United States, you can find rosette chocolate candy in individual bags at Walmart, Target, and Wegmans. I’ve only ever seen them in regular milk chocolate or mint flavours. Since mint does not pair well with peanut butter, use the milk chocolate flavour for these.
For my recipe, just for the sake of visual appeal, I used three different colours of sanding sugar. Sanding sugar is a course sugar that is used for decoration rather than flavouring. In fact, I find sanding sugar to taste less sweet than regular sugar, which is a good thing, otherwise, these Christmas Peanut Butter Rosettes would be way too sweet.
I used red, green, and regular (clear) sanding sugar. You can use all one colour if you wish. There are two things that are important to remember when making these cookies. First, the cookie dough can become soft and hard to roll if the temperature of your kitchen is warm.
HERE IS WHAT YOU WILL NEED FOR THIS RECIPE:
- Flour – No need for anything special. Just use regular all-purpose flour. I have not tried this recipe with any other type of flour.
- Baking Soda – Commonly known as sodium bicarbonate, or just bicarb, it is a baking ingredient that’s activated by a liquid and an acid to help with leavening or rising. In most cases, you will see baking soda in recipes with lemon juice or buttermilk, but that’s not always the case.
- Salt – This is a common ingredient in baking and cooking. In baking it helps to enhance and balance sweetness. In cooking it helps to bring out natural flavours in things like vegetables.
- Butter – Make sure your butter is at room temperature! To be perfectly honest, I have made these with both salted and unsalted butter and there’s no difference in taste or appearance once all is said and done. Use what you have on hand.
- Peanut Butter – A paste or spread made from ground, dry-roasted peanuts, along with sugar and other additives. When baking, I always use regular peanut butter, not the expensive natural peanut butters or nut butters.
JUST A FEW MORE INGREDIENTS!
- Brown Sugar – First of all, it has way more flavour! And, in this recipe, brown sugar helps to keep the cookie moist and soft.
- Sugar – Yes, white sugar is needed as well. White sugar will caramelize when baked, which will help to brown the cookie, help the cookie to spread, and will create a crispness to the bottom of the cookie.
- Egg – One large egg is all you need. Whenever you set out to bake, make sure your eggs are at room temperature too – just like your butter!
- Milk – When a baking recipe requires milk, I always use whole milk, unless otherwise stated.
- Vanilla Extract – Probably the most common extract and the most common flavouring used in cakes and cookies. You can substitute vanilla extract for other flavoured extracts in most recipes if you don’t care for vanilla flavour, however you might not want to venture too far in a peanut butter cookie recipe!
- Sanding Sugar – Coarse sugar, sometimes referred to as sanding sugar, is used sometimes for decorative purposes. It is sometimes called pearl sugar or coarse baking sugar.
- Chocolate Rosettes – These are a milk chocolate confection sometimes called rosebuds. You can use Hershey’s Kisses too.
WHAT TO DO IF THE COOKIE DOUGH IS TOO SOFT
If this happens, place the cookie dough in the fridge for a few minutes to firm up the butter and the peanut butter. Four to five minutes should be just fine. Secondly, you have to work very fast when you take the cookies out of the oven.
The rosette must be inserted into the center of the puffed up, freshly baked cookie, as quickly as you can. The center is still hot and soft, which will allow you to gently push the rosette into the cookies, but will also semi-melt the chocolate so that when cooled, it sticks to the cookie and stays put.
Once baked and fully cooled, Christmas Peanut Butter Rosettes are a delightful little treat that would be a perfect option for your annual Christmas cookie exchange. I love cookie exchanges, but never take part in any, because most of my friends are not bakers.
STORING, PACKAGING, AND FREEZING
These cookies will stay fresh for about 3-5 days in a covered container and in a cool place. But, if you plan to freeze these cookies, use a food-safe container that can be frozen. You’ll want to ensure a very tight fitting lid too. (I use these quite often when freezing baked goods.) I like to place a sheet of plastic wrap over the top of the container before pushing the lid on. This helps to create a better seal. The goal is to keep all of that cookie freshness locked in!
You can freeze these cookies for up to three months. They will come out of the freezer looking just like they did when you put them in there as long as you protect them. Pack them into the container in a neat layer with a sheet of parchment paper between each layer. This will prevent the rosette from looking too damaged. Once you thaw them, they will taste just as fresh, and be just as soft, as the day you first baked them.
MORE CHRISTMAS CONFECTIONS!
In some cases, we want more than a cookie. That’s why I have two more Christmas-themed collections you might want to consider. The first, is my 12 Bundt Cakes of Christmas, and the second is my 12 Biscotti of Christmas. Click on the image below to see each collection all on one page with links to each recipe!
Lastly, as promised yesterday, I’ll be back tomorrow, Dear Reader, with the third cookie recipe in the series.
Christmas Peanut Butter Rosettes
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup peanut butter, smooth
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sanding sugar, for rolling (optional)
- 40 whole chocolate rosettes
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, use a hand-held mixer to beat together the butter and the peanut butter until light and creamy.
- Add both sugars and beat until well combined.
- Next, add the egg, mil, and the vanilla; beat into the sugar and butter mixture.
- Add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix into the wet ingredients just until the flour has been incorporated.
- Portion out about one 1/2 tablespoon of the cookie dough. Roll into a ball and then roll into the sanding sugar, if you’re using. The sanding sugar adds a little bit of sweetness, not much, but mostly colour and festivity. It’s completely optional.
- Place the ball onto the prepared baking sheet. Roll more balls and place on the baking sheet, leaving about two inches of space between each ball.
- Bake for exactly 10 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately insert a chocolate rosette (rosebud) into the center of the cookie. Press the rosette into the cookie until about halfway down.
- Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack to continue cooling.