Marbled Chocolate Gems

Marbled Chocolate Gems

3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 (1-oz) squares unsweetened baking chocolate, melted, slightly cooled

– Topping –

1/2 cup sugar
48 milk chocolate candy stars or kisses

Combine butter and 1/2 cup sugar in large mixer bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed (1 to 2 minutes). Add egg and vanilla; continue beating until well mixed (1 to 2 minutes). Reduce speed to low; add flour, baking soda and salt. Beat until well mixed (1 to 2 minutes).

Remove half of the dough; set aside. Add peanut butter to remaining dough in mixer bowl. Beat at low speed until well mixed (1 to 2 minutes). Remove dough from mixer bowl; wrap in plastic food wrap. Place reserved half of dough into mixer bowl; add melted chocolate. Beat at low speed until well mixed (about 1 minute). Wrap chocolate dough in plastic food wrap. Refrigerate both balls of dough until firm, about 2 hours.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Press about 1/2 teaspoon of each peanut butter and chocolate dough together to create a marbled effect; roll into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in 1/2 cup sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until set and cookies just start to crack. Remove from oven.

Immediately press 1 chocolate star or kiss in center of each cookie. Cool 1 minute. Remove cookies from cookie sheet; cool completely on wire racks.

Makes 4 dozen cookies.