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You Heart What You Eat: [Date A] Peanut Butter Blossom

Tera Johnson-Swartz shares a holiday recipe that brings back memories of her childhood called "[Date A] Peanut Butter Blossom.
Courtesy Photo

— When I was growing up, the holidays for me were all about the big cookie swap my mom participated in. She, along with seven or eight friends, would each bring a dozen of their latest and greatest recipes to exchange, easing the burden of the diverse but delicious cookie trays that grazed our countertops during the holiday season.

Still, I was a softy for the simple classics — not the elaborate Italian Lace or other internationally inspired sorts. The peanut butter with a simple Hershey kiss in the middle was my all-time favorite and usually the one I would coerce my mom to make each and every year, regardless of what she brought to or took home from the cookie swap.

Now, as a mother of two myself, each year I make this single holiday cookie that reminds me of my youth. While I try to minimize the sugar, I can’t say there isn’t any in the recipe I’ve improvised and unlike some more militant moms out there, I don’t prevent my kiddos from enjoying something that they really only get once or twice a year. It creates a bond with the next generation of memories my mother and I shared in the kitchen so many years ago.



Replacing most of the brown sugar with dates and a touch of molasses for color and flavor and the white sugar with honey, the peanut butter blossoms we make are pretty spot on if you ask me. I do roll the balls in the turbinado sugar to add just a bit of crunch with each bite and only because I haven’t found a replacement yet, I have continued to use the traditional Hershey’s kisses in the middle.

Loaded with fiber (32 percent), potassium (19 percent) and surprisingly, iron (6 percent), dates are one of those secret ingredients you’ll find in most of my dessert baking recipes. But don’t be fooled, I can’t say this is the healthiest recipe out there — just one I enjoy indulging in and sharing. I won’t judge any of you for eating one, two or half a dozen because they are just that good.



[Date A] Peanut Butter Blossom

  • 1 cup flour

  • 1⁄4 cup almond meal

  • 3⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt

  • 1⁄2 cup butter

  • 1⁄2 cup peanut butter
  • 1⁄4 cup honey

  • 1⁄2 cup dates

  • 1 egg

  • 1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla Turbinado sugar Hershey’s Kisses

In a small bowl combine flour, almond meal, soda and salt and set aside. Put dates in your food processor and pulse until dates are a paste-like consistency, transfer to the following mixture; in a standard mixing bowl, cream butter, date-paste, peanut butter, honey, egg and vanilla.

Fold dry ingredients into your creamed mixture. Roll dough into 1⁄2 golf ball size balls and roll into a bowl of turbinado sugar and place on a large cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for eight minutes.

While baking take wrappers off kisses to prepare for post-bake press. Immediately after removing cookies from oven, gently press kisses into the center of the baked cookie. Cool slightly and enjoy!

You Heart What You Eat is a weekly blog offering a twist of healthy alternative tips and recipes for some of our most coveted comfort foods. From decadent desserts to main dish favorites, you’ll surely look forward to our next edition. Questions or suggestions you’d like included in one of our future blogs should be directed to Tera Johnson-Swartz via email at terajohnsonswartz@gmail.com.

Tera Johnson-Swartz is a mommy first, but also enjoys working one of her many, many side gigs whether it be freelance writing, music, massage therapy, independent childbirth, lactation or health educating. She is eternally grateful she is able to follow her passion each and every day and loves her supporting husband and their two young children  and couldn’t imagine living a better life outside the city limits of Steamboat Springs.


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