Sunday, December 20, 2009

Classic Hershey Kiss Cookies and the Perils of Dreaming of a White Christmas

What happens when too many people are dreaming of a White Christmas? We get the Big One – the Nor’easter that dumps nearly 20 inches of snow across the region, cancelling flights, postponing parties and shopping plans and generally creating a frosty mess. Winter doesn’t even arrive until the 21st. Maybe we should all be dreaming of an end to climate change or the fulfillment of peace on earth, good will toward people, huh?

I’ve actually been dreaming of classic Christmas cookies. It’s odd because I’m not really an avid cookie baker (although the invention of the KitchenAid mixer did a lot to alleviate what is often a long and laborious effort). Yet, for some reason I’ve been reminiscing about Grandma’s Christmas cookies, especially those peanut butter Hershey Kiss cookies she would make. It’s one of those childhood memories that’s etched in my mind and tastebuds.

So housebound, with all previous plans cancelled I make like a Christmas elf and whip up a few kisses. The recipe has long since entered the realm of cookie lore, and can be found in all sorts of places. And, if you've already been stocking up on Christmas candy, you've probably got a few kisses squirreled away in the pantry.

If you’re cookie-baking challenged, or your fingers are frostbitten from the bruising temperatures, Hershey Kiss Cookies are actually not that hard to make. Just roll the dough into little walnut-sized balls, and bake for 10 minutes. Then press a kiss into each cookie and let cool. Don't forget to leave a few chocolate smooches for the chef.

I’m submitting my classic Hershey Kiss Cookies to Susan at Food Blogga’s annual “Eat Christmas Cookies” event (just under the wire). It’s the biggest holiday cookie swap in the blogosphere, and about the only thing that ever motivates me to bake cookies.

As for the real peril of dreaming of a White Christmas?

You have to shovel the snow, and disposing of 20 inches is no easy feat. I’ll bet Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye never thought of that.
©2009 T.W. Barritt All Rights Reserved


~~louise~~ said...

I can't remember the last time we had snow like this T.W.

If there's one thing that brightens this girls day, it's Hershey Kisses! Your cookies look picture perfect.

Boy, I sure wouldn't having a dish of those waiting for me when I come in from digging myself out. I can't get out either one of my doors!!!

Thanks for memories, T.W. This "cookie-baking challenged" gal is off to shovel. If you get a chance tomorrow, pop on over to my blog. You are one of my "golden oldies."

Andrea Meyers said...

I remember the first time my grandmother made these for Christmas and the discussions that took place over the naming of the cookies. (My aunts and uncles had another name for them which I won't mention in a public forum.) We still make these every year and they are one our boys' favorites. Merry Christmas!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I can almost smell the cookies baking from here. It's the perfect thing to have with a cup of hot cocoa (or perhaps something stronger) after a few hours of shoveling.

Julia said...

These cookies would give me the sustenance to shovel more... Thankfully, I have a small patch of land.

And I really like your idea of collective dreaming for good will toward people.

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Louise - these kisses have gotten me through the afternoon!

Andrea - I'm surprised I never thought of this before, but now that you mention it ... I may never look at these cookies the same again!

Sam Hoffer / My Carolina Kitchen said...

Great looking cookies TW. Each a few cookies, shovel, eat some more, shovel again. You sure got the snow alright. Isn't it supposed to be delightful?

When we lived in the Poconos it snowed a lot and my husband told me men shouldn't shovel snow because that's how they can have a heart attack. Stupid me - I believed him.

Hope you have a wonderful and merry holiday.

Kalyn Denny said...

I've been hearing about the huge storm in on the east coast, but I never thought about the shoveling until I read this post! What a job! I'm glad you have cookies like this to keep you going. (Peanut butter cookies are my favorite so I can tell I'd like them!)

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Lydia - certainly something stronger. I'm not the snow bunny I used to be.

Julia - think of the power of that collective dream!

Sam - if I could have made your husband's story work this morning at 5 AM, I sure would have tried!

Kalyn - I think I'm going to be living on peanut butter kisses until the spring thaw!

The Old White Barn said...

These are such a fun childhood memory for me! Your photos make me want to dig out the old Christmas recipes and make up for lost time! Merry Christmas.

Shannon (The Daily Balance) said...

my oh my, you have such a cute blog!!

so happy i found it ;)

Kathy said...

These are one of my favorite cookies--aren't they simple and just perfect? Wow! Look at all that snow!

Foodiewife said...

These are classics that bring back childhood memories, big time! My inner child is suddenly craving these!Man, oh man, look at all that snow! Living in California, I have absolutely no idea what this is really like. I'd never survive under those conditions-- I'm so spoiled.
Happy Holidays!

Fresh Local and Best said...

These cookies look very good and would be a wonderful way to finish a Christmas feast.
This was my first time seeing it snow, it was magical watching the city be dusted with powdered sugar.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

I used to love baking Hershey Kiss Cookies with my mom (though we called them peanut butter blossoms). The best part was placing the kiss on the still-warm cookie (then eating a kiss). So I just love this entry! I actually hope some of the snow hangs around in RI so I can have a white Christmas. I have had to suffice with Bing and Danny for the last decade. Happy Holidays, T.W.!

~~louise~~ said...

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas, T.W.

P.S. Don't forget, the egg nog tonight. It's National Egg Nog Day!!!

La Cuisine d'Helene said...

Merry Christmas!

Stacey Snacks said...

It really is so pretty.....we got 14" but I know you got more!
The cookies with kisses look delicious.
Have a wonderful holiday, TW!
Best for the new year!

Fresh Local and Best said...

Just popping in to wish you a Merry Christmas!

Lori Lynn said...

Oh, so that's what caused it!!! I was one of the fortunate ones and did not get my flights delayed. So sorry for those who did.