Monday, December 5, 2011

C is for Cookie.....!!!

A tale of Pumpkin Spiced Hershey's Kiss Molasses Cookies....

Each year my wonderful Aunt organizes a cookie exchange, where a bunch of us get together, have a lovely breakfast and exchange cookies early in December (with the intention of reducing the amount of Christmas baking one has to do). 

It's typically held on the first Sunday of December, (which usually means that I am hungover from my annual work Christmas party from the night before).  My Mama and I work as a team - It's my job to select the type of cookie and bake, it's her job to come up with some inventive, environmentally friendly and festive way of wrapping the parcels of cookies.  We usually have about 2 months from being notified of the date of the cookie exchange to find a recipe, and test it out....however most of us (and by most of us, I mean 'me'...I am a bit of a procrastinator) wait until the very last minute to decide what kind of cookie to make. 

This year, inspiration hit me in earlier then usual.  In October, I discovered something wonderful -  'Pumpkin Spiced Hersey's Kisses'.  I love Pumpkin Spiced Lattes from Starbucks (it's one of my favourite things about Fall), and in my mind, (even before having tried them) I loved Pumpkin Spiced Hershey's Kisses.  I was extremely disappointed when I discovered that they were not available in Canada (sad).  So you can imagine my excitement when one of my darling friends from NYC sending me an entire box of Pumpkin Spiced Hershey's Kisses.  They were (as expected) lovely.  Kind of sweet, but unique in flavour.  This is when I had 'the epiphany' (the 'inspiration' I referred to above)....That they would taste great in molasses cookies!   
My next thought was to Google...(as I do when I don't know something).  And surprisingly there wasn't much in the way of Pumpkin Spiced Hershey's Kiss Cookies. 
So I invented (I am going to use the word 'invented' loosely here, as the inspiration for this cookie came from a Martha Stewart molasses cookie recipe....). 
And I came up with the Pumpkin Spiced Hershey's Kiss Molasses Cookie (yup, that's a mouthful).
I baked these cookies in a mini muffin pan so they would retain a better shape when the Pumpkin Spiced Hershey's Kiss was placed in the middle. 

The recipe....

2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup molasses
1-2 bags Pumpkin Spiced Hershey's Kisses, unwrapped

  1. Place unwrapped Pumpkin Spiced Hershey's Kisses in freezer (this ensures that they retain their 'Hershey's Kiss shape')
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and salt. In a shallow bowl, keep 1/2 cup sugar; set aside.
  3. With an electric mixer, beat butter and remaining cup of sugar until light, but not too fluffy. Beat in egg, vanilla and then molasses until combined. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in all dry ingredients, until a dough forms.
  4. Pinch off and roll dough into balls, each equal to 1/2 tablespoon. Roll balls in reserved sugar to coat.
  5. Arrange balls in mini muffin baking pan. Bake, until edges of cookies are just firm, 10 to 12 minutes
  6. Take Hershey's Kisses out of freezer; Remove baking pan from oven, immediately press Hershey's Kiss in middle of cookie
  7.  Cool 10 minutes on baking pan; transfer to racks to cool completely.

Happy Cooking!

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