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!
Welcome, Dear Reader, to Day 2 of Lord Byron’s 24 Cookies of Christmas series! Today, we are baking what 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!
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! – one 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!
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.
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.
Lastly, as promised yesterday, I will keep a list going each day of all of the cookies in Lord Byron’s 24 Cookies of Christmas series. You can click on the name of the cookie to be taken to the post and the recipe. I’ll be back tomorrow, Dear Reader, with the third cookie recipe in the series.
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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.
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