Almond Butter Kiss Cookies

Surprise, it’s Christmas in May :)

Ok, just kidding, but these cookies do scream holiday season to me. Every year at Christmas time, my grandmother would bake a ton of cookies and put together trays to share with us. Peanut butter kiss cookies were always included, and they were far and away my favorite. I’d pick them all out and eat them first; my grandmother made sure to include a few extra peanut butter kiss cookies on the tray for our house because she knew I was such a fanatic.

Almond Butter Kiss Cookies

Believe it or not, I’m pretty sure I’ve never actually made peanut butter kiss cookies myself. I had a serious craving recently though, and there was no way I was going to wait another 6+ months to satisfy that craving. Peanut butter kiss cookies are way too good to only be enjoyed one month of the year!

As I set out to make the cookies, I had one of those light bulb moments: why not use almond butter instead of peanut butter? Since trying it for the first time last year, I’ve fallen in love with almond butter, and I knew it would be a fun twist on the classic version. I can’t believe I’m even going to say this, but I think I liked the resulting cookies even more than the original! They were perfectly soft and chewy, and though the flavor of the almond butter was a bit more subtle than you get with the peanut butter version, the cookies were still completely irresistible.

Almond Butter Kiss Cookies

Even if you’re not a huge fan of almond butter, you have to give these cookies a try! I probably couldn’t pay Shane enough to swap almond butter for peanut butter on his daily English muffin, but much to my surprise he loved these cookies too! The recipe made over 3 dozen cookies and while we shared a few with his parents, Shane and I devoured most of them all by ourselves :)

Almond Butter Kiss Cookies
adapted from Better Homes & Gardens

{Note: I had some almonds in my freezer I needed to use, so I made my own almond butter for these cookies (the recipe is linked below). I skipped the maple syrup and only used about 1 teaspoon of oil while processing. While I haven’t tried it, I’m confident store-bought almond butter would work just as well too.)

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 tablespoons milk (I used 1%)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
about 40 Hershey’s Kisses, unwrapped

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and almond butter on medium speed for about 30 seconds, or until well combined. Add 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar, the brown sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt, and continue beating on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary. Mix in the egg, milk, and vanilla until incorporated. With the mixer on low, gradually add both flours, beating just until combined.

Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar to a wide, shallow dish. Using a small cookie scoop (mine measures about 1 1/2 inches in diameter), portion the dough into balls. Working with a few at a time, roll the balls in the sugar, coating them on all sides. Place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving 1-2 inches of space between them.

Bake the cookies for about 9 minutes, or until they are puffed and the tops are cracked – the edges should be set, though the centers may look underdone. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and immediately press a Hershey’s Kiss into the center of each cookie. Allow the cookies to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then remove to the wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough and Hershey’s Kisses.

Makes about 40 cookies