Special Feature: Products Sally Recommends
Hershey's Kisses, first made in 1907, are produced today at a rate of 80 million per day. Talk about popularity!! The Original Hershey's Kisses, as well as, Hershey's Kisses With Almonds, Hershey's Hugs and Hershey's Hugs With Almonds have a foundation of milk chocolate and each is wrapped in five square inches of foil wrap. Here's a recipe to embellish a "good thing." You can purchase colored squares of confectioners foil at specialty cookware shops or cake decorating stores to twist up your own "kiss."
Cocoa Kiss Cookies
makes about 4 1/2 dozen cookies
Recipe is reprinted courtesy of the Hershey Kitchens.
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Hershey's Cocoa
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 bag (9 oz.) Hershey's Kisses Chocolates
In large bowl, beat butter, sugar and vanilla until creamy. Stir together flour and cocoa; add in butter mixture, beating until blended. Add pecans; beat until well blended. Refrigerate dough about 1 hour or until firm enough to handle. Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove wrappers from chocolate pieces. Mold scant tablespoon of dough around each chocolate piece, covering completely. Shape into balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until set. Cool slightly, about 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Roll in powdered sugar. Roll in sugar again before serving, if desired.
In 1907 from the other side of the globe, Perugina began as a small confectionery making wedding cakes and sugared almonds. The young heir to Perugina, Giovanni Buitoni, and Luisa Spagnoli, wife of Perugina's co-founder, fell in love. A confectioner in her own right, Luisa created many of Perugina's chocolate delicacies. In 1922, she created Baci, whipped milk chocolate blended with chopped hazelnuts, topped with a whole hazelnut and enrobed in bittersweet chocolate. Because their love was to remain secret, Luisa wrote love notes and wrapped them around the chocolates she sent to Giovanni for his inspection. Today all Baci kisses come wrapped in love notes written in English and Italian. Baci has been the key to Perugina's success throughout the world.
Here is my version of a "kiss" based on my love of chocolate and hazelnuts.
Yields about 3 dozen Kisses
1 cup Whipping cream
8 oz Milk chocolate chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
2 tbsp Unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup Ground hazelnuts (approximately 1/2 lb of hazelnuts with skins removed and processed into a paste in food processor or blender)
1 lb Whole Hazelnuts toasted lightly and shells removed 1 lb Semisweet chocolate for decoration
Scald cream in heavy saucepan and pour over chocolate. Beat chocolate until smooth then add the butter. Beat vigorously to incorporate the butter. Beat in the ground hazelnuts until mixture is well mixed, light and fluffy. Chill mixture until firm. Scrape spoon or melon-ball cutter across surface of chilled mixture to gather a bit of truffle mixture then quickly press with fingertips into 1 inch balls. Place on a cookie sheet and press a whole hazelnut into the ball. Dip centers into semisweet chocolate to coat. See lesson #3 on tempering chocolate and dipping centers. Wrap in colored confectioners foil or squares of tissue paper and give to special friends.