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red velvet cookies with Hershey's Kisses pressed in the center

Red Velvet Kiss Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • 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 1/2 cups + 1 Tablespoon (196g) 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)*
  • 3236 Hershey’s Kisses, unwrapped


  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (100g) or confectioners’ sugar (60g)


  1. Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, add the milk and food coloring, then 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Remove from the freezer and serve.
  9. Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 1 week.


  1. 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. Click here for my tips and tricks on freezing cookie dough.
  2. Cocoa Powder: Use natural unsweetened cocoa powder in this cookie dough, not dutch-process. Here’s the difference between natural cocoa powder and dutch-process cocoa powder.
  3. 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.
  4. 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