Secret Hershey Kiss Cookies are perfectly soft and chewy sugar cookies, coated in sweet powdered sugar, complete with a delicious hidden chocolate surprise inside. They're the perfect Christmas cookie!
I have always liked those peanut butter blossom cookies with the Hershey's kisses on top. The problem is that the kiss always falls off when I'm eating the darn cookie, and then I really just have a kiss and a cookie separately.
This fun cookie recipe totally solves that problem by sticking the kiss inside the cookie! How much fun is that?
I think these secret kiss cookies would be awesome for a Christmas cookie exchange because they look unassuming on the outside but have a big surprise inside. Who wouldn't want to bring home a few of these?
What you'll need to make secret Hershey Kiss cookies
This is a pretty standard cookie recipe, so you will need a cookie sheet or baking sheet and parchment paper or a silicone baking liner (sometimes called a silpat) to line it. Strictly speaking, the liner isn't necessary, and our grandmothers probably didn't use them, but liners do make cleanup quite a bit easier, and they also make it easier to reuse the cookie sheet over and over again in succession without having to get it wet or scrape off cookie crumbs.
You'll need an electric hand held or stand mixer to cream the butter and sugar. The stand mixer makes things easier because you don't have to stand over the ingredients, but mine does not sit out on the counter and so I most often just grab the hand mixer because it's easier.
You'll also need a scoop set. I say you need it because I prefer to use scoop for cookies and cupcakes because it ensures evenly sized individual servings. If your cookies aren't all exactly the same size, they will cook unevenly and some will be underdone and too soft while others are overdone and too hard. A 1-tablespoon scoop is perfect for this recipe and will yield 6 dozen cookies.
Finally, you will need a wire rack to remove the cookies to after they've cooled a bit on the cookie sheet. I have 5 wire racks because 1 is never enough. Mine stack like bunk beds for cookies.
You will need a batch of sugar cookie dough. Here's my recipe for that. It makes 6 dozen cookies which is perfect to divide among your favorite varieties of cookies.
That same sugar cookie recipe can be adapted to make 3 other types of cookie as well, including the following:
This recipe also requires 72 Hershey kisses, unwrapped, and 2 cups of powdered sugar.
How to make secret Hershey Kiss cookies
In the instructions below, I assume you are starting with the sugar cookie dough already made.
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Line the baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Begin by preparing one batch of sugar cookie dough from the linked recipe.
- Scoop out dough by the tablespoonful. Make a ball with the dough.
- Press a Hershey Kiss into the center.
- Pinch the dough up around the kiss to create a cone shaped ball of cookie dough. Immediately roll the cookie in the bowl of powdered sugar.
- Repeat until all dough is used.
- Refrigerate the cookies for at least an hour up to overnight.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the chilled cookies on the cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until set and lightly golden brown around the edges.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes or until cool enough to handle but still warm.
- Place the powdered sugar in a bowl. Place the warm cookies in the bowl one at a time and gently roll to coat. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once the cookies are cooled completely, roll them in the powdered sugar a second time.
Secret Kiss Cookie variations
I was trying to think of some variations on this cookie, and I didn't come up with much.
However, Hershey's makes about a hundred different kinds of kisses, so you could try a bunch of different ones inside your cookies. I was thinking these ones would be really nice:
- Cherry cordial
- Cookies & cream
- Hershey's Hugs
- Hot chocolate
I'm not up on all the different kiss flavors, but you could take a walk through the candy aisle at your grocery store and get a couple of bags to experiment!
Another variation you could make is to add 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder to the powdered sugar before you roll the warm cookies. That would give the cookies the tiniest bit of chocolate and make a whole new flavor.
Finally, you could add some chopped pecans or walnuts to the sugar cookie dough before making the balls. I love pecans and try to add them to pretty much everything.
Tips for the best secret kiss cookies
Getting the powdered sugar to stick - Roll the baked cookies in the powdered sugar again as soon as they are cool enough to handle. The sugar will stick better to the cookies when they are still pretty warm.
Chilling the dough - There is no need to chill this sugar cookie dough. You can mix it up and use it as is.
To prevent cracks - These cookies shouldn't crack if you roll them really well. Pinch the dough up around the kiss until it is perfectly round and smooth with no lines or cracks in the dough.
To prevent the cookies from spreading too much - A lot of times, the first batch of cookies comes out perfectly but the second baking spreads too much. Do you ever have that problem? The reason it happens is that the baking sheet was too hot when you put the cookies on it, and the butter in the cookies melts before the cookies can bake. To prevent overspreading, use multiple cookie sheets and cool each one completely before adding a second batch of cookie dough.
To keep the cookies soft - Be careful not to over bake the cookies. Remove them from the oven as soon as they are set, when the edges are just beginning to get golden. If you cook them too long, they will get hard.
How to store these secret Hershey Kiss sugar cookies for maximum softness
You can store these cookies in an airtight container or zippered plastic bag for 4-5 days, and they will still be nice and soft.
If you want to keep them for longer, you can freeze the cookies. Simply let them cool to room temperature then place into an airtight container or a zippered plastic freezer bag and stick them in the freezer. They will stay good for months. To eat, simply place the cookies in the fridge or on the counter overnight.
Frequently asked questions
What should I do if my dough is too stiff?
If your dough is too crumbly or too stiff to work with, you probably added too much flour. Try adding milk, 1 tablespoon at a time and mixing it in.
What should I do if my dough is too runny?
If your cookie dough is too sticky or runny, add flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix it in until the dough is the right consistency. It should be workable but not stick to your hands.
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