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a couple of years ago for hanukkah, my parents gifted me with what i consider to be my very own bible: the all-american cookie book by nancy baggett. this book is where 99% of my favorite cookie recipes come from, with the exception of one: the peanut butter kiss.

 you’ve probably had a peanut butter kiss before. in fact, in high school i once made out with a guy after a party who tasted a lot like peanut butter. et voila, a peanut butter kiss! no, but really – it’s my experience that many a man taste like peanut butter when you kiss them. hey, it’s better than tasting of cigarettes and stale beer, right?

 anywho, you’ve also probably had a peanut butter kiss COOKIE before, too. you know, those deliciously crackly peanut butter cookies wrapped in sugar, the ones with a hershey’s kiss melted smack dab into the middle. there’s little better in life than peanut butter and chocolate (mint and chocolate is pretty damn amazing too), as reese’s cups and haagen dazs’ chocolate peanut butter ice cream demonstrate. these cookies are incredibly simple and take less than 10 minutes to whip up, then another ten to bake. they taste amazing, look adorable, and make a great gift. right now, there’s a bunch of them sitting in my glass cookie jar, looking pretty all day every day. 

 seriously, you can’t go wrong with these. they converted my peanut butter hating roommate into a fan. girl ever asked for the recipe. that’s when you know she’s come over to the dark side of PB and chocolate. you’ll notice that i went for hershey’s white chocolate swirl kisses. this wasn’t intentional. i was actually quite unhappy when i opened the bag and saw i’d gotten the wrong kind –  but you know what? turns out peanut butter is just as good with white chocolate as it is with milk chocolate. 

The Recipe *adapted from a cooks.com recipe search

 1 3/4 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup butter (1 stick), at room temperature

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 egg

4 tbsp milk

2 tsp vanilla

1 bag hershey’s kisses (flavor of your choice)

 additional 1/2 cup white sugar

 to make, preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease two baking sheets (or cover with parchment paper or silicone mats).

 combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. set aside. in a large mixing bowl (or stand mixer, if you’ve got one), mix sugars, butter, peanut butter, egg, milk and vanilla until creamy. go on, dip your finger in. it’s goooood, isn’t it? now, slowly mix in the dry ingredients.

 take your additional 1/2 cup of white sugar and put it in a small bowl. roll your dough into golf-sized balls (or a little smaller) and roll in the sugar. place on cookie sheet, about 1″ apart. bake for 8-10 minutes (they should be golden and cracked around the top), and immediately place a single chocolate kiss* in the center of each cookie.

 *insider’s tip: peel the wrappers from your kisses ahead of time, and stick them in a bowl in the freezer. this ensures that they won’t melt entirely when you put them into the hot cookies.

 now, resist the urge to eat the whole batch at once. or don’t. but don’t blame me if you have a tummy ache tomorrow. 

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i think i’ve mentioned here before that growing up, i wasn’t a huge breakfast fan. i mean, hello, someone pass me the beefaroni or the leftover chicken and rice pilaf, please. i think when i really fell in love with breakfast was, sadly, when i started drinking. you know, because when you’re hungover in college, all you want to do is run to the dining hall and stuff your face with an oversized omelette and greasy homefries. you all know i love homefries. can’t live without ’em. lord, don’t ever send me to a place where homefries are not a breakfast standard. anywho, as i’ve gotten older, and hence, matured into the wise lady i am today, i’ve come to realize that there’s really lots to love about breakfast – from eggs benedict (i really need to master hollandaise) to fluffy pancakes like the ones you see above.

in my mind, there’s little that screams sunday morning like a pile o’ fluffy white pancakes. and ladies and gents, when i say pancakes, i don’t mean ihop, and i most certainly don’t mean bisquick. i can eat a bisquick pancake faster than you can say “from a box” – but with a recipe like the one below, there’s really no need for a box mix. pancakes are S-I-M-P-L-E, folks. as in, you barely need a recipe, and unless you’re the kind of person who stuffs their sweaters into their oven and owns only one pan (new yorkers, i’m looking at you), you likely have everything you need for these babies in your kitchen already.

this recipe (which i modified slightly) yields fluffy, light, melt in your mouth pancakes. i ate mine with melted butter and nothing else, but they’d be great with chocolate chips or berries mixed in, and even better with some spiked maple syrup. 

The Recipe

You’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

the key to this recipe is that you don’t do the mixing with a plain old spoon or fork – you use a whisk. this releases a ton of air into your batter, making for the fluffy pancakes sunday morning dreams are made of. 

to make, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl. in a smaller bowl, beat the egg, then mix in the melted butter, vanilla and milk. make sure you give the butter a bit of time to cool after you melt it – you don’t want to cook the egg! make a well in the center of your dry ingredients, and pour in your wet ones. mix slightly with a wooden spoon, and then whip with a whisk to beat fully. 

your batter might be a bit thicker than the usual bisquick shiz, but don’t fret. this is to be expected. 

heat a lightly oiled griddle (i use canola oil spray from trader joe’s) over medium to high heat. scoop your batter onto the griddle, about 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake. cook a few minutes on each side, and serve hot.

breakfast is served.