Happy Endings

Here comes Peter Cottontail ... it's that time of the year again and people everywhere are scrambling to get loads of chocolate and other candies to fill baskets. But, why not make a change this year and fill your basket with a wide variety of fun things ... including homemade treats?

This month, I'm offering a recipe that is quite simple and really lovely in an Easter basket. I like to get a wide variety of flavored candy kisses -- usually at least four -- and mix and match them. Then, I pack them in groups of four and wrap them in pretty wrappings and tuck them in a nice basket brimming with fresh fruit, nuts, carefully chosen chocolates and other fun things. If you can, choose candy kisses that include some color -- I've used ones that include pink, orange and yellow before and they make a beautiful springtime treat!

As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments in the discussion board using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . Enjoy!

Springtime Kissing Baskets

  • 1 1/4 c. packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 c. creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 c. vegetable shortening
  • 3 T. skim milk
  • 1 T. vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 3/4 c. flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 48 assorted candy kisses

Combine the brown sugar, peanut butter, shortening, milk and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Beat the mixture at medium speed until well blended. Add the egg and mix briefly to combine.

In another bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture and beat at a low speed until blended.

Form 1-inch balls and press into a mini-muffin tin that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Form onto the bottom and up the sides of the cup. Chill the muffin tins for 30 minutes to firm the dough.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the chilled cookies for 10 minutes. As soon as they come out of the oven, press a single candy kiss into each "basket". I like to choose a variety of colors and flavors ... bright colors can be splendid for spring. Allow the cookies to cool for 10 minutes in the pan before gently turning them in the cups and lifting them out. Cool them completely and wrap in sets of four for a lovely addition to any Easter basket.

  • Yields: 48 cookies
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes