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Cookies made famous from a contest

"Peanut Blossom Cookies" were a Pillsbury Bake-Off winner in 1957, but are still equally as good and popular today!
"Peanut Blossom Cookies" were a Pillsbury Bake-Off winner in 1957, but are still equally as good and popular today!

Since the 1940's, Pillsbury, the flour and baking mix company, have sponsored a famous Bake-Off Recipe Contest. This is the "Olympics" of those who cook and bake, with cooks nationwide competing for large cash prizes. Cooks from all over the country have participated in this contest and at the same time have created some popular, long-time favorite recipes. Among the favorites of the Bake-Off include "Oatmeal Carmelitas", "Funfetti Cookies", "Dilly Casserole Bread", and quite possibly the most famous recipe of all, "Tunnel of Fudge Cake".

In 1957, a lady named Freida Smith from Gibsonburg, Ohio, created a special cookie recipe called "Peanut Blossom Cookies". This is a peanut butter cookie topped with a chocolate candy kiss. This recipe was one of the 100 finalists of the 1957 contest, but didn't win the grand prize. Nonetheless, this cookie has been popular ever since. Originally called "Brown-Eyed Susans", the recipe's title was changed by the Pillsbury company. This is the recipe I'm sharing with you and if you've never made these cookies before, and you like chocolate and peanut butter, then what a treat you'll have in store!

This is a "one-bowl" recipe, meaning that all the ingredients go into the bowl and are mixed all at once. The original recipe called for creaming the shortening with the sugar, adding the egg, then adding the dry ingredients. In 1966, the recipe was streamlined to the "one-bowl" method. I've made these cookies both ways and they both perform and taste the very same.

The dough is made and shaped into balls. They go on the baking sheet and are baked for about 10-12 minutes. Upon removing them from the oven, an unwrapped chocolate candy kiss goes directly on top of each cookie and pressed. This will make the edges of the cookies crack, but this is normal. When cooled, they're ready to be devoured with a glass of cold milk!

This will make about 4 dozen cookies. If you prefer a firmer chocolate candy center, refrigerate the cookies to reharden them. I usually don't refrigerate these. I keep them in an airtight container and they keep very well. However, if your crowd likes cookies, especially as good as these are, they won't last long!

A good while back, I shared the recipe for the "Tunnel of Fudge Cake", which as I mentioned before, is one of the big favorites that many associate with the Pillsbury Bake-Off. Here's the link to the recipe:

Bake a batch of these cookies and see for yourself why this cookie has been a favorite for nearly 60 years!


  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup shortening OR 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • additional sugar for coating
  • 48 chocolate candy kisses, unwrapped

Combine all ingredients except for the candy in the large bowl of the electric mixer. Mix on the lowest speed until a smooth, uniform dough forms (if using a portable mixer, use a medium speed). Roll dough into balls about the size of a large marble. Roll in granulated sugar and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Immediate upon removing from the oven, place a candy kiss on top of each cookie and press down so cookie cracks around the edges. If candy becomes too soft, place in the refrigerator to reharden. Yield: 48 cookies.

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