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The Sweet Life


第5回 Nuts for You, Valentine!

2月が近づくと、やはりバレンタインのお菓子が目につきますね。バレンタインデーにニューヨークの街を歩くと、男性が赤いバラを持ってせかせかと歩いているのはよく見る光景です。アメリカではバレンタインは男性が女性にお花やギフトを送る日で、女性からあげることがあっても、いたってシンプルなギフトが多いです。ということで、今回のThe Sweet Lifeはそんなバレンタインにぴったりなクッキーのレシピとラッピングの提案です。今年のバレンタインは手作りでせめてみては?

If there is anything I love as much as dessert, it is wrapping paper and ribbons. So imagine my delight when I came across Wrapple, a store dedicated to packaging and wrapping materials in Shibuya's Parco I! I was like a kid in a candy store, and you will see some of my purchases in the pictures below. What's not to love about ribbons in every shape and size and delightfully decadent wrapping paper?
This month, I am sharing with you a recipe for Peanut Butter Kiss cookies, a cookie I have been obsessed with since tasting it in elementary school at a bake sale. It is not the most refined cookie, but there is something comforting about the moist peanut butter cookie with the meltingly sweet taste of a Hershey's Kiss. Tokyo has everything in the way of high-end, luxury chocolates, but nothing can compete with a home-baked treat!
I recommend baking these the night before gifting them and packaging them the morning of, to give the chocolate time to harden. These are best enjoyed slightly warm, so suggest that the recipient heat them slightly (10 seconds in the microwave or 1 minute in a hot oven), just enough so that the chocolate is soft, but not enough for it to lose its shape.
As you can see from the photo, I substituted chocolate chips for some of the Hershey's Kisses to make them more suitable for small children, and you could also use other flavors of Hershey's Kisses if you prefer.
Personalize the wrapping as much as you would like, but below are pictures with a few ideas for you to get started. Of course you could always buy a Valentine's Day card, but there are plenty of printable Valentines on the Web, and in keeping with this month's homemade theme, I tried my hand at making my own! I love the kitschy look of vintage Valentines, so I printed some images, cut them out, glued them on construction paper, and voila, a Valentine! These would also be an adorable project for children, especially with some glitter pens and stickers to decorate.
Happy baking, and I hope you (and your Valentine!) enjoy these sweet treats!

Nuts for You and Kisses Too (aka Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies)
Makes 30 cookies
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (250g)
1 teaspoon baking powder (6g)
½ teaspoon salt (3g)
½ cup butter at room temperature (100g)
½ cup creamy peanut butter at room temperature (100g)
¼ cup granulated sugar (50g)
½ cup brown sugar (100g)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
30 Hershey's Milk Chocolate Kisses
Additional granulated sugar for rolling

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat the butter, peanut butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar using an electric mixer for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and egg, mix for 1 minute. Add the flour mixture in 3 parts, mixing by hand after each addition. Roll dough into balls (each ball should be roughly 20g) with your hands and roll each ball of dough in granulated sugar. Place the balls of dough on an ungreased baking sheet and bake in a 350F (180C) oven for 8 to 10 minutes. While the cookies are baking, unwrap the Chocolate Kisses. Remove the baked cookies from the oven and press 1 Chocolate Kiss into the center of each cookie (cookies will crack). Leave cookies on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

cookie dough.jpg★.jpg

cookies baked.jpg★.jpg

valentine wrapping1.jpg★.jpg

valentine wrapping2.jpg★.jpg

The Sweet Life

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