A kiss of Christmastime


Sunday mornings spent at home with nothing on the mind but the peanut butter kiss cookies.

Waking up with the excitement knowing that my mom and I were going to have a day to bake and watch an endless amount of Christmas movies.

Or the opposite, the feeling of boredom alone or accompanied by a friend and seeing the jar of Skippy Peanut Butter and the Hershey Kisses in the pantry nearby. The messy counter with signs of Hershey kiss wrappers and scattered sugar across the kitchen was normal for the Pontes family.

It was not unordinary to walk downstairs and see our mint green cake stand filled with the delicious cookies. The cookie was simple, a peanut butter gooey cookie with a Hershey Kiss in the middle. I used to share this experience with my great grandmother, making these cookies annually around Christmas time. This memory lingers on every time I close the oven door that holds the cookies my whole family knows of.  

Oh, the ways you could eat them, my mom would eat them straight out of the oven before I could even get the Hershey Kiss in it. My brother usually took around three cookies, dumping them in milk. My dad likes them right out of the oven, not fully cooked, a little doughy. I am always way too full to eat my creation at the end of the day due to the fact that I would lick the bowl and spoon that held the dough clean and occasionally eat a few Hershey Kisses.

Our final taste tester always was a fat man in a red suit and a long white beard. Always on Dec. 24, I would make these cookies the best of the year just for him. My assumption that he liked them was from the empty plate and the presents pouring out from under the Christmas tree.

No matter the occasion we made them. Somehow Christmas time always used to be the time that our pantry was full with peanut butter and kisses constantly. Christmas was and still is my world, and having this tradition for the jolly fat man topped it off. He sees millions of cookies every year, thought my 9-year-old self, so I knew mine had to be amazing.

The gooey peanut butter cookie goes into the oven for 15 minutes, just enough time to unwrap all the Hershey Kisses. When the oven beeps, it’s go time, I slowly take the cookies out which was a big deal when I was younger dealing with hot things. I sprinkle some sugar on top and then place the Hershey Kisses in the middle of the cookie. Just enough time for the delicious chocolate to melt a little. Filling my house with the warm scent of peanut butter and that sharp chocolate smell that lingered throughout the day.  

It will always be a warm comforting feeling baking them with my mom to seeing one packed in my lunch the next day or coming home to the familiar scent I can’t forget.

Spending endless cold December nights staying in and baking these cookies and packaging them up for neighbors for a Christmas gooey gift while my dad is outside in the cold hanging up our magical Christmas lights is the best memory these cookies bring.

The warm feeling these cookies bring to my household will forever be unconditional. Though it is not the cookie itself but the memories, that matter. It just works out that the sweet cookie comes along with it.