We’re gearing up for Valentine’s Day over here with all things red velvet. I love the taste of red velvet desserts so much and their color scheme makes them a perfect fit for Valentine’s Day (or Christmas, really, but for some reason I always use them for the former).
I figure peanut butter blossoms are always a hit, so why not try red velvet blossoms? For these, you could really use any kind of Hershey Kiss flavor in the center that you want. For mine, I tried them with traditional milk chocolate kisses and also with candy cane kisses (leftover from Christmas fudge recipes). I have a feeling they would be divine with the cherry cordial kisses. You can also choose whether to make these as Blossoms or as Thumbprints. With Blossoms, the Hershey Kiss will retain its firm texture, whereas with thumbprints, the hershey kiss will melt into the center of the cookie and stay a bit softer when you eat the cookies. It’s really a matter of personal preference.
Red Velvet Blossoms/Thumbprints
For Cookie Dough:
- 1+1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar (packed)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 whole, extra large egg
- 1 Tbsp. red food coloring
- 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. distilled white vinegar
- red sanding sugar (also called red sugar crystals)
- 24-30 unwrapped Hershey Kisses or Hugs (flavor of choice - cherry cordial kisses would probably be amazing! The photo above is from me using traditional milk chocolate kisses for some and candy cane kisses for the others)
- Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl until thoroughly combined, then set aside.
- Place the oil, brown sugar and granulated sugar in the mixing bowl of an electric stand mixer or a large mixing bowl and using either the electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or using an electric handheld mixer, beat the oil and sugars together until there are no lumps of brown sugar.
- Add in the egg and continue beating until smooth and creamy.
- Add in the food coloring, vanilla and vinegar and mix until thoroughly incorporated.
- Add the dry ingredients mixture into the wet ingredients mixture slowly, mixing on low (stir) speed just until everything is thoroughly combined (try to avoid over-mixing).
- Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours (cookies will not bake up properly unless the dough is properly chilled and the dough is very sticky and difficult to work with unless it's properly chilled).
- When the dough is thoroughly chilled and you're ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, line baking sheets with parchment paper and place the red sanding sugar/red sugar crystals in a wide, deep bowl or dish.
- Scoop dough out using a small cookie scoop and form into balls, then roll each ball in the red sanding sugar until fully coated and place on the parchment-lined baking sheets about 1-2 inches apart (you should be able to have 12 on each baking sheet).
- Bake in the preheated oven ~10 minutes, until the cookies have puffed up and the edges are just set (try not to overbake, as cookies will continue cooking as they cool and they taste best when they end up still soft and chewy. If these cookies are overbaked they will end up dry).
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and immediately press a Hershey Kiss/Hug into the center of each cookie. Leave cookies on the tray for about a minute, then remove them to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
- If you want thumbprint cookies, after the cookies have been cooling on the rack for a few minutes, take them and tap them gently on the counter several times to make the Hershey Kiss/Hug collapse down into a pool of melted chocolate in the center. Sometimes the very top of the Hershey Kiss will not be warm enough to melt naturally, so use a toothpick or the tip of a sharp pointed knife to push it down into the center and smooth the top to create the look as shown in the above photo.
- If you want the cookies to remain as blossoms (with the Hershey kiss retaining its shape), you must leave the cookies to fully cool (this can take quite some time) before moving them in order to avoid the Hershey kiss losing shape.
- Once cookies are cooled, store them in an air-tight container.
Adapted from <a href="http://www.thegalleygourmet.net/2012/02/red-velvet-blossomsthumbprints.html" target="_blank" The Galley Gourmet.