It’s almost Christmas cookie season! Obviously I looooooove baking so the frenzy of cookie baking in the month before Christmas is basically my favorite time of the year. I have no idea how many batches of cookies my mom and I make each holiday season; maybe this year I’ll keep track but I’d almost be afraid at the answer. It has to be upwards of 50? So it’s a good thing all my friends love getting Christmas cookies for presents!
Ughhhh the anticipation is killing me. But I can’t justify starting Christmas cookie baking when it isn’t even Thanksgiving yet! I won’t even play holiday music until Friday. So what’s a girl to do when she wants to bake Christmas cookies but morally can’t yet? She turns her Christmas cookies into Thanksgiving cookies!
And so we have the birth of Hidden Pumpkin Spice Kiss Cookies.
These delightful morsels are a riff on my Hidden Candy Cane Kiss Cookies that became an instant overnight favorite holiday cookie when they debuted three years ago. Don’t worry that recipe will probably go up in a few weeks 😉 And the pumpkin spice version is no less popular. The odd thing about Pumpkin Spice anything is there’s usually no pumpkin flavoring in it. Pumpkin spice really just means nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Not that I’m complaining because ummm delicious! Which is why obviously when I found Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Hershey’s Kisses I had to buy four bags for $5. Fastforward to getting home, and I had no idea what I was going to do with 252 pumpkin spice kisses.
A big thank you to Mom for suggesting I try out my most requested Christmas cookie with a different kind of Hershey’s Kiss. She’s a genius sometimes, you know that? The cookie dough itself is not too sweet so it’s the perfect companion to the very very sweet Pumpkin Spice Kisses. And then as soon as I tried topping them with a little coarse sea salt, we had another perfectly addictive cookie on our hands. A Thanksgiving cookie! These cookies do take some time to assemble and it seemed like every time I would assemble and bake one cookie tray, they were all eaten before I had a chance to put the next ones in the oven! I don’t blame anyone. When you bite into one of these cookies still warm…and the hidden Kiss is still melty and gooey…and you get that crunch of sea salt…and yeah I may need to find more Pumpkin Spice Kisses.
So if in the midst of all your Thanksgiving prep (I mean is it crazy that I started cooking yesterday?) you have the overwhelming urge to start baking Christmas cookies, take these surprising treats for a test run!
hidden pumpkin spice kiss cookies
- ½ cup + 2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ large egg (whisk one egg in a small bowl and only use half of it…or make a double batch like I always do!)
- ¾ cup confectioner’s sugar (aka icing sugar)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 10 finely chopped Pumpkin Spice Hershey’s Kisses
- About 20 additional, unwrapped Pumpkin Spice kisses
- Coarse sea salt
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the icing sugar, butter, vanilla, and egg. This should take about 2-3 minutes.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter in two batches, mixing to combine well after each. Fold in the chopped Kisses.
Chill dough while you unwrap the additional Kisses.
Scoop about 1 tablespoon of cookie dough and press a Pumpkin Spice Kiss into the center. Wrap the dough around the Kiss so that it’s completely covered. Dip in a small bowl of the sea salt to get a few crystals on the top of the cookie. Repeat until you run out of dough.
Bake for 10-12 minutes (mine always take exactly 10) then immediately remove to cool on a wire rack.