These red velvet kiss cookies are a colorful spin on traditional peanut butter blossoms. Inspired by the classic red velvet cake, they’re soft-baked and buttery with cocoa and vanilla flavors. While the cookies are still warm, press Hershey’s Kisses into the centers.
There’s no comparing true red velvet cake with a cookie, but these scarlet beauties have a similar flavor profile. They’re easily one of the prettiest Christmas cookies I’ve made this holiday season and there was no complicated decorating or special tools involved. That chocolate kiss is our built-in finishing touch. 😉
Tell Me About These Red Velvet Kiss Cookies
- Texture: Think about a soft-baked chocolate chip cookie. These red velvet blossoms have the same tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture. They’re extra chewy, while a roll in granulated sugar adds a delightful crackly crisp coating.
- Flavor: Is red velvet cake a mystery flavor to you? I used to be the same way. From red velvet cake roll to red velvet cupcakes to texture-packed red velvet seven layer bars, I’ve had a lot of fun getting to know this iconic flavor. Red velvet desserts, including today’s red velvet kiss cookies, are extra buttery with mild cocoa and vanilla flavors. They’re usually made with buttermilk to obtain that traditional tang, but these cookies can be made with regular milk.
- Ease: We have a basic cookie dough on our hands. After chilling the cookie dough, roll into balls, and generously coat in granulated sugar before baking. The only complicated part, if we can really call it that, is pressing the Hershey’s Kiss candy into each baked cookie. To prevent the warm cookies from totally melting the chocolate, place the warm cookies in the freezer for a few minutes to “set” that chocolate kiss on top. I do the same thing for candy cane kiss cookies and it works like a charm.
- Time: Set aside enough time to chill this cookie dough. It’s a fairly sticky dough and without time in the refrigerator, your cookies will melt all over the baking sheet. Do yourself a favor and make the cookie dough the night before. Great way to prep for a Christmas cookie baking day. If you need a no-chill cookie, try these lace cookies or shortbread wedges.
A Few Notes About Red Velvet Kiss Cookies
The process is pretty uneventful, but there’s a few key notes I want to explain before you start.
- Extra Flour: You’ll notice that the recipe calls for 1 and 3/4 cups of flour, which is enough to help the cookies hold shape. The recipe used to call for 1 and 1/2 cups, plus 1 extra Tbsp. I added even more flour to help solidify this dough as some readers had trouble with over-spreading.
- Red Coloring: You can control how vibrant the red color is. Or, if you wish, skip the red coloring altogether because it’s only for looks. I use and recommend 1/2 teaspoon of gel food coloring. You can find gel food coloring in craft stores, some grocery stores, or online. (I like Americolor Red Red or Super Red.) Liquid coloring is fine in a pinch, but you need more of it for the color to actually show up. If you’re looking for a natural alternative, use 2 teaspoons of beet powder. I’ve done this successfully with my red velvet chocolate chip cookies. The color stands out a lot more in cookie dough than in cake batter—and you won’t taste it.
- Rolling in Sugar: The sugar coating adds a little crunch and sparkle. I’d say it’s optional, but they’re delicious with its addition. Feel free to swap granulated sugar for confectioners’ sugar if you’re looking to mimic the look of chocolate crinkle cookies.
- Hershey’s Kisses: I chose Hershey’s Kisses because they’re the traditional candy used in this type of classic Christmas cookie. I used the dark chocolate kisses in these photos, but feel free to use any of the kisses varieties/flavors. Rolos or any type of small chocolates would be great, too. I make cookies like this with chocolate hearts for Valentine’s Day, see sparkle sweetheart cookies and peanut butter sweetheart cookies.
If you love peanut butter, try a miniature peanut butter cup like we do with these peanut butter cup cookies. You can even skip Hershey’s Kiss completely and give them a dunk in melted chocolate instead. That’s how I made these white chocolate red velvet cookies.
My #1 Trick for Blossom Cookies
As mentioned above and described in the written recipe below, we bake the cookies without the chocolate candy on top. (It would melt.) When the cookies are finished in the oven, let them cool for about 5 minutes. Press a Hershey’s Kiss into the center of each, then immediately transfer them to a large plate or a few smaller plates (gently! they’re soft!). Place the plate(s) of cookies in the freezer for 10 minutes to quickly set the chocolate kiss in the cookie.
This trick (1) prevents the chocolate from melting and (2) helps prevent the kiss candy from falling off the cooled cookies. It’s definitely an extra step, but it helps!
Even More Festive Christmas Cookies
- Spritz Cookies & Butter Cookies
- Stained Glass Window Cookies
- Snowball Cookies
- Peppermint Mocha Cookies
- Christmas Sugar Cookies
And here are 75+ Christmas cookies with all my best success guides & tips.Print
Red Velvet Kiss Cookies
- Prep Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes (includes chilling)
- Cook Time: 12 minutes
- Total Time: 3 hours (includes cooling)
- Yield: 32-36 cookies
- Category: Cookies
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
These red velvet kiss cookies are a colorful spin on traditional peanut butter blossoms. Feel free to use other chocolate candies such as Rolos, peanut butter cups, or other small chocolates.
- 1 and 3/4 cups (219g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1/4 cup (21g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 Tablespoon milk (I use buttermilk)
- 1/2 teaspoon gel red food coloring (or alternative)*
- 32–36 Hershey’s Kisses, unwrapped
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar (100g) or confectioners’ sugar (60g)
- Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together on medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix on high until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, add the milk and food coloring, and then mix on low speed until everything is combined. The dough will be sticky. If you want a more vibrant hue, beat in more food coloring a little at a time. Cover and chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (and up to 3 days). If chilling for longer than a few hours, allow dough to sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before rolling and baking because the dough will be quite hard.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside. Also, make sure there’s room in your freezer because the cookies will need to be placed inside to prevent the chocolates from melting.
- Roll & coat: Scoop and roll cookie dough, about 1 Tablespoon of dough each. Roll each ball in the 1/2 cup of sugar and arrange on the baking sheet about 3 inches apart.
- Bake for 11-13 minutes or until the edges appear set. Centers will look very soft. Mine usually take 12 minutes. Remove cookies from the oven and cool for just 5-10 minutes on the baking sheets.
- Set the chocolate: Press a Hershey’s Kiss into the center of each, then using a thin spatula, immediately transfer the cookies to a large plate or a few smaller plates (gently– they’re soft). Place the plate(s) of cookies in the freezer for 10 minutes to quickly set the chocolate kiss in the cookie.
- Remove from the freezer and serve.
- Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week.
- Make Ahead Instructions: You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. (See step 3.) Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough balls, without sugar coating, freeze well for up to 3 months. When you are ready to bake, remove the balls from the freezer, let sit for 30 minutes, preheat the oven, then roll in sugar as directed. Read my tips and tricks on how to freeze cookie dough.
- Cocoa Powder: Use natural unsweetened cocoa powder in this cookie dough, not dutch-process. Here’s the difference between dutch-process vs natural cocoa powder.
- Food Coloring: You can control how vibrant the red color is. Or, if you wish, skip the red coloring altogether because it’s only for looks. I use and recommend 1/2 teaspoon of gel food coloring. You can find gel food coloring in craft stores, some grocery stores, or online. (I like Americolor Red Red or Super Red.) Liquid coloring is fine in a pinch, but you need more of it for the color to actually show up– around 1 Tablespoon. If you’re looking for a natural alternative, use 2 teaspoons of beet powder. I’ve done this successfully with my red velvet chocolate chip cookies. The color stands out a lot more in cookie dough than in cake batter– and you won’t taste it.
- Candies: Feel free to use any of the Hershey’s Kisses varieties/flavors. Rolos or any type of small chocolates would be great, too. (I make cookies like this with chocolate hearts for Valentine’s Day– see sparkle sweetheart cookies.) If you love peanut butter, try a miniature peanut butter cup like we do with these peanut butter cup cookies.
Keywords: red velvet, blossom cookies, red velvet cookies
Reader Comments & Reviews
I loved the recipe so much it came out really good ♥️♥️♥️
Made these for Valentine’s 2023. This is definitely the recipe for soft cookie lovers. They are truly delish! Instead of the kisses, I used Cherry Cordial candies. They were unique!
they turned out really flat.
I made these for Valentine’s and noticed that while they puffed during the bake, they flattened/sank a bit when I put the kiss on top and the chocolate sort of just sat on top of the cookie unlike PB blossoms where the kiss sinks into the cookie. Is that expected?
Hi Grace, were the cookies still warm when you added the kiss? It should adhere nicely if the cookie is still warm, and then you transfer them to the freezer. Cookies tend to flatten a bit as they cool, yes.
OMG! I made these cookies at Christmas and shared with some of the neighbors. What a hit they were! I changed the type of Hershey Kisses from solid chocolate to cherry cordial filled Kisses – absolutely decadent! My husband and I love them, too. I bought several bags of the cherry Kisses and I’m going to make another batch next week – just for us! These will be on my must make for Christmas list from now on!
Turned out amazing. chilled the dough for the required two hours, and they cookies baked perfectly in the middle rack of my oven. Will be baking again! I did add a bit extra milk to my dough though as i found it was a tad thick (could be my kitchen temp..) but nonetheless, perfect cookies
My cookies came out cracked and not at all like pictured 🙁 not sure what I did wrong as I followed the recipe exactly
Hi Elle! Some cracks are normal. Do the cookies seem dry? How did you measure the flour? Make sure to spoon and level (instead of scooping) to avoid packing in too much flour into your measuring cups – or use a kitchen scale. You can read more about properly measuring baking ingredients in this post.
I love your recipes and normally have fantastic results. But, like others have commented, these cookies were a disappointment. After reading the comments, I added 2 extra Tbs of flour to the dough, which should have prevented them from spreading too much. But they came out as flat as pancakes.
Thank you so much for trying the recipe, and for your feedback. If you ever decide to try the recipe again, adding even more flour could help (such as another 2 Tbsp on top of what you already added) as well as chilling the balls of dough as the oven preheats. Thank you again!
So pretty and taste great!
I made the dough the night before and rolled in balls before putting in the fridge. The next morning I rolled in sugar and baked. They puffed beautifully and have a nice subtle red (used 1/2 teas. Coloring gel). Can’t wait to put these out for my Christmas party!
I read the reviews about how the cookies spread and even read the tips on how to prevent cookies from spreading….unfortunately my cookies still turned out flat. Idk why it happened I did everything correctly.
tasty but FLAT!
Hi, this question is about the red velvet cake, but there there isn’t a comment box for that recipe. i’ve just put my cakes in the oven and realized that I have only added half the butter milk. What will my cakes turn out like. Do i need to start again? I’m having a really bad day, the Swiss Meringue buttercream took about 3 hrs to make! All good this that now I think!
Hi Susannah! The cakes may be a little more dense or dry, but it’s hard to say exactly how they’ll turn out. It’s worth baking them to see how it goes! Hope you love the cake 🙂
I can not lie about how lunch I love this recipe. Admittedly, I know you’re against it but I use Hershey’s special dark chocolate powder, I increase that by about a tablespoon, I kick up the vanilla by an extra tsp, dark brown sugar & leave out the food color & the kisses but still roll in sugar. Omg. To die for. Thank you, your recipes are fabulous & so easy for me to alter to what I have to am in the mood for. You rock my socks!
Hi Sally, I am super excited to try these! I unfortunately only have Dutch-processed cocoa powder though! Are there any modifications I can do to make that work? I know there is a definite science reason as to why I need to use regular cocoa powder (I’m guessing something to do with the acidity?) but it’s all I currently have access to and I still really want to try this recipe out!
Hi Abbey, we don’t recommend Dutch-processed cocoa powder in this recipe. Here is the science behind Dutch process Vs Natural Cocoa Powder.
Hey Sally! I chilled the dough for over 12 hrs. and let it come to room temperature, and it still came out pancake-flat. This also happened when I made your Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, even though I chilled those for even longer. I’m wondering if my racks aren’t set right in my oven. How do you recommend I set my racks? The flavor of the cookies are fabulous, but I was really dissapointed when I
saw that, even after following your recipe to the t, they came out so thin and wide.
Hi Sarah, Thank you for trying these recipes! We do find that when we bake one try in the center of the oven we have the best results. Cookies spreading too much is usually a result of too much fat in the dough so if you try it again you can add 2 TBS extra flour which should help. Here are even more tips to Prevent Cookies From Spreading.
I wish I could post a picture of these beautiful cookies! The dough wasn’t red enough for me so I rolled them in red sanding sugar. I roll my Christmas peanut blossoms in red, green and white sugar too. I also used Hershey Hugs instead of kisses and they are beautiful and delicious! It is so cold right now in my kitchen not only did I have to wait a only a minute to push the candy in but I could skip the freezer! Thank you for this wonderful recipe! It is a keeper!
Can I add peanut butter as an ingredient to this recipe like the peanut butter blossoms-will they still turn out ok?
Hi Janine! It would take some testing to get that combination right, peanut butter is a drying ingredient – let us know if you try anything!
I made this recipe for Christmas, and it turned out great!! I let the dough chill for about 2 hours, although even with adding extra food coloring my cookies came out more brown than red. Next time I would add another 1/2tsp of red food coloring. These are a great replacement for peanut butter blossoms for those who are allergic!!
Hi, I’d like to add some white chocolate chips to the cookies. How much should I add to the dough?
Hi Ellie, You could add 1 cup of white chocolate chips to the cookie dough. Enjoy!
Hi Sally – I made these exactly as directed (extra flour and gel food coloring). They chilled for 48 hrs and still came out pancake flat. They’re too huge in flat form to fit into my Christmas cookie boxes so they’re going straight into the compost bin.
Hi Anna, so sorry to hear that you had trouble with this reicpe. Here’s our tips to keep cookies from spreading in the future!
You couldn’t have ate the cookies? Lol instead of wasting them.
I’m confused on when to chill? Am I blind or does the recipe not state? 🙂
Hi Roxanna, In step 3, after you mix the wet and dry ingredients together you will cover and chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (and up to 3 days).