Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kiss Cookies

Favorite fall flavors and activities guaranteed to enhance your autumn

(BPT) – The air is crisp, kids are back in school and leaves are beginning to change color – fall has arrived! With it comes many possibilities for making amazing memories. From favorite fall flavors to awesome autumn activities, everyone has something to look forward to as the season changes. So what types of things are high on Americans’ to-do lists this year?

pumpkin-spice-hershey-kiss-cookies

Americans embrace everything autumn – from baking to pumpkin carving

Americans are embracing the autumn spirit with fun family activities. In a recent Hershey survey, 59 percent of Americans said they plan to bake fall treats and 45 percent plan to carve pumpkins. Other popular activities planned for fall include crafting, going on hayrides and apple picking.

Planning a day at an orchard and then going home to bake with the fresh picked ingredients is an ideal way to spend time with the family. When deciding which flavor trends should inspire your baking, consider this: the survey found pumpkin spice is the top flavor Americans associate with the fall season. From coffee to cake, pumpkin spice is a sure winner. Other favorite falls flavors include candy corn and caramel apple.

Fall flavored treats like HERSHEY’S KISSES Pumpkin Spice Flavored Candies, new TWIZZLERS Caramel Apple Filled Twists and new HERSHEY’S Candy Corn Snack Size Bars – white creme bars dotted with sweet candy bits – bring these flavor trends to candy form. Be sure to bring them to your fall events, whether you’re relaxing at a backyard bonfire or exploring the local orchard.

Fall always seems to fly by, so to get the most out of this fleeting season, consider making a fall wish list. Have everyone in the family include ideas for what they would like to do before winter arrives. Such ideas could include family crafts, pumpkin picking at a local farm, a romantic couple’s walk by the river, a hike and scavenger hunt, or baking new fall-themed recipes. Then each weekend, select one or two activities to enjoy together.

Do you plan to bake this fall like 59 percent of Americans? Consider adding these recipes to your fall rotation for autumn-inspired, delicious treats.

HERSHEY’S KISSES Pumpkin Spice Cookies

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Ingredients:

36 HERSHEY’S KISSES Pumpkin Spice Flavored Candies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup finely chopped pecans

Powdered sugar

Additional granulated sugar

Directions:

1. Remove wrappers from candies. Place in freezer several hours or overnight.

2. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Add flour and pecans; beat on low speed of mixer until well blended. Cover; refrigerate 1 to 2 hours or until dough is firm enough to handle.

3. Heat oven to 350 F. Roll dough into 36 balls (about 1 tablespoon dough for each ball). Roll in granulated sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.

4. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies are set but not browned. Cool 4 minutes; press frozen candy into center of each cookie; cookie will crack around edges. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack; cool completely. Makes 36 cookies.

Hidden pumpkin spice cookies alternative:
Make cookie dough as above. Using about 1 tablespoon dough for each cookie, shape dough around one candy piece (candy does not need to be frozen for this variation); roll in hand to make ball. (Be sure to cover each candy piece completely.) Roll in granulated sugar. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies are set. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. While still slightly warm, roll in powdered sugar. Cool completely. Roll again in powdered sugar just before serving.

HERSHEY’S KISSES Acorn Treats

Ingredients:

Royal Icing or Decorator’s Frosting (recipe follows)

6 HERSHEY’S KISSES Milk Chocolates

6 HERSHEY’S KISSES Pumpkin Spice Flavored Candies

12 Mini vanilla wafer cookies

12 REESE’S Peanut Butter Chips or HERSHEY’S Butterscotch Chips

Directions:

1. Prepare Royal Icing and place in pastry bag with small tip. Remove wrappers from candies.

2. Place mini vanilla wafer cookies on tray or plate with flat side of cookie towards the top. Squeeze small amount of icing onto bottom of HERSHEY’S KISSES candy piece. Immediately press candy bottom onto vanilla wafer cookie. Allow icing to set. 12 candy acorns.

3. Place small dab of icing on bottom of peanut butter chip or butterscotch chip; immediately attach to top of cookie to finish acorn.

Royal Icing:

Stir together 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon powdered sugar, 1-1/2 teaspoons warm water and 3/4 teaspoon pasteurized dried egg whites (meringue powder). Beat until spreadable. Add additional water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, to get desired consistency. Tint with food color, if desired. Cover icing with damp paper towel to keep icing from drying out. About 1/4 cup icing.

Editor’s note:

Phone survey of 1,014 adults 18 and older living in the continental United States conducted from August 21-24, 2014 by ORC International for The Hershey Company.

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