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The base of these cookies is basically a shortbread, but I love that it uses brown sugar (like my Brown Sugar M&M Cookies) to keep them moist. They’re still crumbly, but it’s a tender crumb so they’re not at all dry.
You can fill them with anything you want – Hershey’s Kisses (obviously) in any of their many flavors, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, etc.
The cookie is a simple sugar cookie that verges on a mild shortbread so other flavors pair nicely with it.
I first published this recipe in September of 2014. I’ll include that original text here:
I made these cookies on a whim the other night. Remember that earlier bed time for Baby Girl? Looks like I’ll be using that extra time to bake.
The downside to that, is it’s at nighttime. Which leaves terrible light for picture taking. I planned to photograph these cookies the next day, during my lunch hour, but I left them out and my mom ate several of them. Ha.
At least that tells you that they were good.
Why you’ll love these Brown Sugar Surprise Cookies
- It’s simple – only 7 ingredients that you likely have on hand.
- They make a small batch – only 12-13 cookies, which is nice, but also easily doubled if you need more (use my Common Kitchen Conversions printable to help you!).
- They’re easy to customize – don’t have Hershey’s Kisses? Use chocolate chips. There are also MANY Kiss varieties that you could pick from to switch up the theme/flavors.
Equipment You’ll Need To Make These Cookies
- Mixing Bowl – I love grippy bottom bowls.
- Hand Mixer – my favorite mixer has apparently been discontinued, but this one is cheap and has good reviews.
- Cookie Scoop – I use a medium cookie scoop here (approx. 1 tablespoon) but I recommend having a variety of sizes.
- Baking Sheets – I love that this set is lipped so no dough balls roll off.
Ingredients for your Hidden Kiss Cookies
Below is a list of ingredients, possible substitutions, and helpful tips. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card.
Butter – Softened to room temperature. Unsalted, preferably so you can control the salt content, but I honestly use salted more often.
Light Brown Sugar – To keep the cookie moist and a bit chewy.
Cinnamon – Just a pinch of cinnamon for great flavor.
Flour – All purpose white flour is all I have tested this recipe with.
Hershey’s Kisses – Kisses come in many flavors (original, Hugs (like in my Fiesta Fudge Cookies), cherry cordial, dark chocolate, etc. – they vary by season)
Powdered Sugar – Also sometimes called confectioners’ sugar, you can either roll the warm cookies in the sugar or sprinkle on a light dusting.
How To Make The Perfect Hidden Kiss Cookies with Brown Sugar
STEP ONE: Make the dough. First, use a hand mixer to cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Then add in the cinnamon and vanilla and continue beating. Once combined, stir in the flour until fully incorporated.
STEP TWO: Chill the dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and move it to the fridge to chill for at least an hour. Overnight is fine as well.
STEP THREE: Fill the cookies. Once chilled, use a cookie scoop to portion out approximately 1 tablespoon of dough. Roll it into a ball, flatten it, place a Kiss in the center, the gently wrap the dough around it, rolling to smooth it.
STEP FOUR: Bake the cookies. Place each filled ball onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Bake for approximately 18 minutes in a preheated oven at 350°. The edges should be golden.
STEP FIVE: Sugar the cookies. Once slightly cooled, roll the cookies in powdered sugar or sprinkle it on top.
Tips & Notes For Making These Hidden Kiss Cookies
- If you opt to not use Hershey’s Kisses and want to try chocolate chips, use approximately 5-7 in place. (shown below in pictures)
- When pinching the dough around the Kisses, make sure you close all seams so no chocolate leaks out.
- If you just like a little sweetness, instead of rolling the cookies in powdered sugar, you can use a sifter or strainer to sprinkle some over the top.
How to store them
These Hidden Kiss Cookies will store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week.
Can you freeze them?
Yes, these cookies will freeze well but I would recommend skipping the powdered sugar until you’re ready to serve them. After baking, place them in a freezer bag in the freezer and they will keep up to three months.
You can also freeze the dough before baking and bake from frozen.
Does the Kiss soften as it is baked?
Not really. The Kiss keeps it shape after being baked and doesn’t really soften. Some people find them too hard so I would recommend using chocolate chips instead.
Need more cookie recipes? Try these:
Click here for my entire collection of cookie recipes.
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Brown Sugar Hidden Kiss Cookies
- In a medium bowl, add the softened butter and brown sugar. Beat with a mixer until light and fluffy.
- Add in the vanilla and cinnamon. Beat until well combined.
- Add the flour and stir until fully incorporated.
- Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.
- After the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner.
- Use a cookie scoop (or a spoon) to scoop out 2 Tb balls of dough. Use your hands to flatten the dough into a circle.
- Put a Kiss in the center of the dough, fully closing it so no chocolate leaks out while baking.
- Line up the cookie balls about 1″ apart on the prepared cookie sheet.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until just golden.
- Once done, transfer to wire cooling racks.
- Roll the cookies in powdered sugar or sprinkle with powdered sugar using a sifter.
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.
Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying/pasting and/or screenshots of full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited. Content and photographs are copyright protected.
Here’s the pic I put on FB and asked which you liked better. I’m not happy with either, but the majority of you picked the one on the left. Oh well, they taste good!