Chocolate love: Surprise Me With A Kiss

There are many kinds of kisses; a mother’s tender kiss to her child, a platonic kiss hello or goodbye, a passionate lovers’ kiss or a chocolate kiss!!

Nestled inside these little butter nut balls is a kiss.  Butter balls are popular cookies, soft and tender with a gentle touch of finely chopped nuts.  The unexpected surprise of biting into a butter ball and finding a chocolate kiss were knows as the Surprise Cookie in my family.

It was my Aunt Mary that made these cookies for us when we were little.  While my aunt made many Italian cookies, she seemed to bake more kid friendly cookies for us.  And as a child, I can honestly say I looked forward to her holiday cookie trays.  I remember my excitement when I first realized a chocolate kiss was in the cookie.  It was like finding the prize in the Cracker Jack Box.  They quickly became my favorite and to this day when I see a butter ball cookie, I wonder if it might have a kiss inside.

Aunt Mary had two daughters, Debbie and Diane.  Our mothers were very close sisters and therefore, I spent a lot of time at her home.  Diane was closer in age to me; we went from playing dolls together to having babies just a few years apart from each other.   Since I’ve moved away, we see very little of each other but it’s funny how food can bring back memories and make you feel like it was just yesterday that I was playing dolls with Diane on my porch!

Through the years, I began making these “kisses” with Baci chocolates.  Baci (Italian for kisses) is a small dark chocolate and hazelnut candy.  Under the chocolate coating are chopped hazelnuts and in the middle is a whole hazelnut.  Talk about surprise, surprise in those cookies!!  What I also love about Baci chocolates is that each chocolate is wrapped with an affectionate love note!

So while I have used Baci chocolate in the past, I made these with a Hershey’s Kiss just as Aunt Mary did.  I’ve tweaked her recipe a bit and just like my mom’s handwritten recipes, I didn’t have much detail on how she actually made the cookies.  I started chilling the dough before and after shaping so that they held their ball shape better when baked.  This recipe makes about 4 dozen depending on how much dough you use to wrap around the kiss.  I prefer just a small amount of dough to make a small cookie ball.

Diane just mentioned to me that her husband loves these frozen, so she keeps them in the freezer.  Mine simply don’t last that long between kids, sharing with friends and my own personal indulgence!

Surprise Cookies

1 cup butter, room temperature

½ cup powdered sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 ¼ cups whole wheat/white flour or unbleached all purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup walnuts, finely chopped

1 12 oz bag of Hershey’s Kisses, unwrapped

In a large stand up mixer, beat the butter sugar and vanilla thoroughly.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt together.  Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture until combined.  Mix in the walnuts.  Chill dough for at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Take about a tablespoon of dough and wrap around the Hershey’s Kiss rolling dough into small balls.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet; the cookies do not spread.  I will place the cookie tray in the refrigerator to firm the dough and chill for another 10-15 minutes.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until just beginning to become lightly golden.  Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.  While still warm, roll in sifted powdered sugar.  Cool further and when totally cool, roll again in powdered sugar.  Makes about 4 dozen cookies.  Store in covered container in a cool place.

February is #chocolatelove month!
Please join in on the #chocolatelove fun by linking up any chocolate recipe from the month of Februrary 2012. Don’t forget to link back to this post, so that your readers know to come stop by the #chocolatelove event! The twitter hashtag is #chocolatelove :).

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83 thoughts on “Chocolate love: Surprise Me With A Kiss

  1. When I was a kid we didn’t get much candy at all. We lived all year long for Halloween. If I’d had an aunt who made these cookies with CANDY inside I’d have been over the moon They’re really lovely.

  2. It’s nice, isn’t it, growing up in an extended family? It’s too bad that it is becoming such a rarity now. On the other hand, it does make moving away more difficult and the adjustment period in one’s new home especially hard. A large family is the best “safety net” and it can take years to develop another, if ever. Although nothing will ever compare with the “real thing,” I bet you’re surrounded by a supportive Florida family, just as I am by my Chicago family. You, Linda, are the type to draw good people to your side. 🙂

    1. John, that has to be the sweetest comment! Thank you very much. I do have some special friends here, but you know my heart is back home! I hope my children will feel inside that their family is their safety net as well. I’m happy to also have found special “blogger” friends, like you, that understand and share in my memories and feelings.

  3. How lovely. As I was reading this (and before I got to the middle section) I found myself thinking “these are like inside out baci”…! I too love them most especially for the little note inside. This is a fabulous recipe Linda and I know I´ll be making them soon. In the meantime I send you a big “bacio” from one blogging chica to another blogging chick!

  4. What a cute idea! These cookies (actually they look like fancy truffles!) sound terrific. As a chocolate addict I’m looking forward to see more of your chocolate recipes this month!

  5. Lovely and delightful cookies Linda!Loved your story and it reminded me of the treats we used to share growing-up with our cousins!So nice of you to bring back those memories with this beautiful Valentine’s day treat!

  6. Oh wow! I love these! I’d love to try them. I wonder what I could substitute for the hershey kisses (I’m in Australia). Maybe make my own! Your aunt must have been a fabulous baker!

  7. I don’t think I’ve tried such cookies, or received such a kiss:) Its sort of like a chocolate chip cookie but with a large chunk of chocolate hiding inside. Certainly a pleasant surprise.

  8. “Surprise Me With A Kiss”

    Oh Linda – I thought that was an invitation! Oh well 🙁

    Those little balls just look so pretty – thanks for sharing 🙂

  9. How clever! This is definitely not a cookie cutter recipe (no pun intended 🙂 ) And it can be easily veganized too! Yumm

  10. I love suprises in my food, too! And you can never go wrong with a chocolate kiss. I love reading other people’s family recipe stories, it makes it so meaningful, and makes me hope my kids will talk about our recipes/baking/cooking together when they get older.

  11. These are beautiful and perfect Linda. What a great recipe. I haven’t seen these before and they are gorgeous and romantic looking. And what a lovely story you told of your childhood – lovely to have recipes passed on down through the generations.

  12. so exciting to see this. I love surprising my son with treats like this and he is going to love the inside of this cupcake! So clever and fun! great recipe to share with bloghop- so glad I joined ya’ll!

  13. And I love the idea of a surprise treat inside a treat. If I was in the office for Valentine’s Day, I’d totally make these! Maybe with a little red food coloring in the cookie dough part…

  14. Isn’t great how food can bring back wonderful memories. I love Baci chocolates, will have to make these with the Hershey kisses and Baci chocolates. I too like to put my baked goods in the freezer but just like in your house between the kids and my indulgences they don’t last more than a day! Best be getting my butt to the gym since I’ve overindulged with chocolates this past weekend ! lol

  15. Okay.. let me just type my reaction of this post. I click on the title of this post.. proceed to read.. and BAM saw the Hersey’s kiss in the middle. My mouth gaped open and I stayed viewing the photo for about 5 minutes.. until I forced myself to continue reading and post LOL. Can you tell I love this recipe?

  16. Love the chocolate kiss surprise inside these gorgoeus cookies and your memories that the cookies bring. Funny, how food can take us back to our childhood in a bite.. Sending #chocolate love your way.

  17. I can’t wait to surprise my family with these cookies! I love that they have chocolate kisses inside. Hersheys now has a dark chocolate Kiss as well which makes me very happy. As always, Linda, your stories and your recipes delight me.

  18. I know a few kids that would really enjoy these! So perfectly delicious looking with a surprise inside! So nice that these cookies bring back such nice memories of your aunt and cousins!

  19. Oh Linda! These look so divine! I wish I had an aunt that baked for me when I was younger! The cookie looks so delicate but what a special treat inside! I would also love the sweet little crunch offered by the Baci’s! Such a perfect recipe for Valentine’s day too!

  20. Great tribute to my mom! She always did have great Christmas cookies. I ate them all frozen because she kept them there before Christmas to keep them fresh. She never did realize that I would steal them every chance I could. 🙂

    1. Thanks Diane! I’m glad you stopped by to see this! I remember stealing frozen cookies too!! Funny but I don’t think my kids have ever done tha…but then again, our moms didn’t know we did!

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