Paul & Jewel Studios » fine art photography & graphic design

Happy Valentine’s Day + Kiss Cookie Recipe

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of our friends, family, clients and colleagues! We hope your day is full of lots of joy and some tasty treats.

A few years ago in Savannah, Paul and I accidentally started a non-traditonal Valentine’s Day tradition. We didn’t want to deal with the crowds of sappy date-nighters, so we decided to stay in and cook a nice meal together and rent a movie. When we went to the Redbox, I decided that I wanted to forego the rom-com and watch Devil and some other “dude movie.” I had nightmares for weeks and didn’t want to go in elevators, but Paul said he fell even more in love and a tradition was born. Last Valentine’s Day we were living in Thailand and we celebrated by canoeing on the lake, going out to the one Western restaurant for mac and cheese, and watching another “dude movie.” I’m excited to celebrate our first Santa Barbara Valentine’s Day!

Any suggestions for a great guy-flick to watch tonight? Maybe Deadfall. Kiss Cookie recipe below, photos by Paul!

I made these cookies for Paul for the first time yesterday, and they were tasty, but suuper rich! If I make them again I’ll probably use half the butter and a little less sugar. There are a lot of different recipes available, but this one is from Epicurious. If you’re looking for a healthier sweet treat, check out the vegan chocolate pie with strawberries that I made awhile back. I’m not great with baking, but these recipes are quick and easy.

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar (maybe less)
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar (maybe less)
  • 8 tablespoons or 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (I would only use HALF a stick next time!)
  • 1/2 cup smooth or chunky peanut butter
  • 1 large egg (I don’t eat egg and recently I’ve been using corn starch instead of the fancy egg replacer powder. Mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 2 tablespoons warm water for each egg – works great.) 
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla or almond extract
  • 30 unwrapped chocolate kisses (or other chocolate candy)


Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and a second rack in the lower third then preheat to 350°F.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, (I don’t have a mixer, still worked) combine the 1/2 cup sugar with the brown sugar, butter, and peanut butter and beat on medium speed, scraping the bowl occasionally, until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla or almond extract and beat on medium until fully incorporated, about 1 minute. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Roll the dough into walnut-size balls and arrange on baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between cookies. Bake, switching the cookies between the upper and lower racks about halfway through baking, until just starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and press a chocolate kiss into the center of each. Cool the cookies. 

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