We are all getting into the holiday spirit here at Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF). There is snow on the ground, the office is decorated and our FEAST! Local Foods Peer Group members have been feeding us with delicious homemade potluck dishes and desserts.

Nothing says “Minnesota” like a good dessert bar, but once we get closer to the holiday season it seems that there is never a shortage of cookies. My all-time favorite holiday cookie – Peanut Butter Blossoms – are in abundance this year at the various meetings I’ve attended across our 20-county region.

My family especially enjoys this classic recipe from Betty Crocker:


½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup packed brown sugar

½ cup creamy peanut butter

½ cup butter or margarine, softened

1 egg

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

¾ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

Additional granulated sugar

About 36 Hershey’s Kisses milk chocolates, unwrapped


Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, beat 1/2 cup granulated sugar, the brown sugar, peanut butter, butter and egg with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon, until well blended. Stir in flour, baking soda and baking powder until dough forms.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in additional granulated sugar. On ungreased cookie sheets, place about 2 inches apart.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Immediately press 1 milk chocolate candy in center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack.

Happy Holidays from all of us here at SMIF!

As always, I welcome your comments and questions. You can reach me at timp@smifoundation.org or 507-455-3215. 

Tim Penny, President & CEO of Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation

Tim Penny is the President & CEO of Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation. Tim represented Minnesota’s First Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1982 – 1994.