Pink Peanut Butter Hugs


The over-the-top joconde got me hooked on the color hot pink, and I have a thing for anything chocolate/peanut butter.

Behold a hot pink, Hugs-version of the classic Peanut Butter Kiss cookie.

These cookies are actually Mama Pea’s Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Balls (one of my favorite cookie recipes) without the chips and with a few drops of red food coloring.

I think they make for a playful and pretty Valentine’s Day cookie.


I made up a batch of Mama’s Pea’s cookie dough….

BUT omitted the chips and added some red gel food coloring to turn it hot pink.

Note: I’ve made this dough three or four times and usually add 2 T milk to my dough. Mama Pea says this may depend on the type of peanut butter you are using. Also, you may need to adjust the amount of flour. You are going for a stiff dough, that almost resembles Play-Doh. And don’t forget to chill the dough, an annoying but necessary step in the cookie-making process.

I discovered when I made the joconde cake last week that a few drops of Wilton’s Christmas Red turns a jaw-dropping bright pink. And I dyed some sugar pink to rolls the cookie dough balls in for some added sparkle.


Roll the cookie dough into about two-inch balls, and lightly coat with the pink sugar.


Pop into the oven at 350 degrees and bake for around 12 minutes.


Meanwhile, unwrap some Hugs.


The cookies will be all pink and puffy after baking. Take them off the cookie sheet and place on cookie rack or a cool surface.


Immediately, place a Hug in the middle.


And press about halfway down the cookie.


Let cool completely so that the chocolate will set. You can also eat one now if you happen to like warm cookies topped with half-melted chocolate. (ME.)


They almost don’t look real, right? But they taste like peanut butter and chocolate and I think are super cute, maybe even sexy little cookies.


Pink Peanut Butter Hugs 
Adapted from Mama Pea’s Peanut Butter Dough Balls 

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon. baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup unbleached flour
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk (optional)
  • Wilton’s Christmas Red gel dye
  • granulated sugar (for rolling)
  • Hershey’s Hugs


  1. In large mixing bowl, beat butter, peanut butter, sugars, and vanilla until light and fluffy (usually two minutes).
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together flours, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
  3. Slowly add flour mixture to butter/sugar mixture just until incorporated. If dough is extra dry, add 1-2 tablespoons of milk.
  4. Add in a few drops of Wilton’s Christmas Red dye until dough is bright pink.
  5. Chill dough in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll dough into small 1 – 1 1/2 inch balls. Add some granulated sugar to a small bowl and add some more red dye to color the sugar pink. Roll dough balls in sugar and place on cookie sheet linked with parchment paper or Silpat.
  7. Bake cookies 10-12 minutes.
  8. While cookies are baking, unwrap your Hershey Hugs.
  9. Once cookies come out of the oven, place them on a cookie cooling rack or cool surface. Immediately top with a Hershey Hug. Let cool and enjoy!

About Sarah

Always thinking about my next meal.
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82 Responses to Pink Peanut Butter Hugs

  1. Jin says:

    wwwwwwwwoooooooooooooo I want those!

  2. Rae says:

    Gotta love the pink! During christmas I made some bright pink and bright green peppermint meringue cookies – it’s amazing how just a drop of food color can create a crazy hue. Those look great :)

  3. Stephanie says:

    Sarah, those are designer cookies! They look like something the Victoria’s Secret angels would eat, if those girls actually ate cookies. Love your creativity!

  4. Kayla says:

    These are just ADORABLE! Love the color, soooo cute!

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  6. Amber says:

    Pretty! What a fun idea. Your photos are always so appealing. Makes me want to jump through the screen and take a bite!

  7. rachel says:

    adorable! perfect valentine’s day cookies!

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  9. Just adorable! Thank you for the wonderful idea and tutorial! : )

  10. Susan Morgan says:

    I can’t find the recipe for the cookie dough on Mama Pea’s site?? How can I get it?? I’m doing a hot pink/zebra themed party for my fourth dtr’s first birthday!!

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  13. Sheri says:

    Sounds great! Thanks for sharing.

  14. Hi i am dalys,, tomorrow Jan19-2012, I will post about sweet treats for valentines, and I am including this idea from you with link back to this post.
    come and visit, rgds, dalys

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  16. What a perfect cookie to make for my daughter’s 7th birthday party. We are decorating in zebra and hot pink and its going to be a spa birthday party theme. Love the cookies. They are precious and just perfect!!! :)

    • Sarah says:

      They are a really fun cookie…..and peanut butter + chocolate is always a good combo! Hope they are a b-day party hit!

  17. Lane says:

    Which hershey’s kisses did you use that are whaite with chocolate stripes?? These are super cute!!! Great idea, thanks for sharing!!

  18. Could you do the same with sugar cookies?

    • Sarah says:

      Yeah, I bet that would work! I haven’t tried it out yet, but would think pressing a Kiss candy into a warm sugar cookie would be good. Especially, if it’s the puffy sort of sugar cookie, as opposed to the flatter, shortbready kind.

    • Kelly says:

      Kaleena, did you try it with sugar cookies? I am wanting to make these for a school picnic and there are peanut alergies so I am hoping for an alternative.

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  20. Shelley Wilburn (CranberryCabin) says:

    These are so awesome! We’re getting ready to have a baby shower & it’s going to be hot pink & zebra. These would be perfect to have!!

  21. annie says:

    These are adorable…I’ve seen them all over Pinterest and now I see that they are yours!

  22. Any idea if these are ok to freeze? I’d love to make them in advance.

    • Sarah says:

      I haven’t froze them before, but my mom used to freeze peanut butter kiss cookies around the holidays. So, I bet if properly stored, they’d be fine! I know you can freeze cupcakes for up to two months in the freezer, so I’m assuming cookies would be about the same time.

    • Sarah says:

      I haven’t froze them before, but my mom used to freeze peanut butter kiss cookies around the holidays. So, I bet if properly stored, they’d be fine! I know you can freeze cupcakes for up to two months in the freezer, so I’m assuming cookies would be about the same.

  23. teresa says:

    bet these would be good with sugar cookie dough also

  24. Marquis says:

    I love pink…….and this cookies look so amazing!

  25. Explore. Dream. Bake. says:

    This is such a great idea! I make these at Christmas time, but without the pink coloring.

    My friend and I are baking Valentine cookies, and these will be just perfect! Thanks :)

  26. mavis12 says:

    You could use dove chocolate hearts and they would be even more valentines day like!

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  28. Mary says:

    Did you omit all the chips, or just the chocolate? Making these for my daughter’s 1st birthday party!!

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  30. Reba Thomas says:

    How do you dye the sugar pink? Need to make these Saturday!!

    • Sarah says:

      I just used some red gel food coloring (bought at Michael’s) on regular sugar. Just use a tiny amount and mix together in a bowl. It will turn a pretty pink hue.

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  35. Kathy says:

    Thank you for sharing!! Can’t wait to make them! Not sure if I can wait till next year for valentine’s day! lol Thank you soooo much, they are so pretty and cheerful! :) :)

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  37. Cara says:

    Have you ever tried any other colors? I am doing a purple/zebra event – I wonder if yellow and blue mixed (rolled in purple sparkles) would work.

  38. Cara says:

    Ack – I meant red and blue. Yellow and blue would make green, lol.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Cara! I haven’t tried other colors, but I’ve been wanting to do so. The base without food coloring is cream-colored, so I think any dye would work well. I bet purple would be pretty! I also think orange would be cool….they’d look like little tiger cookies.

  39. Ev says:

    im going to make these in blue, not sure if they will turn out blue, seeing the browns and yellow from eggs and peanut butter will make it hard to turn blue.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Ev! I haven’t tried blue coloring, but I do think that the gel food colors are more intense. So, you may want to try to use the gel food coloring to achieve a more vibrant blue? I just get mine at Michael’s.

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  41. Oh My Good God – I’ve just expired and arrived in cookie heaven x

  42. Amy says:

    I’m going to try sugar cookie dough with the cherry cordial kisses…..

  43. Nikki Zetty says:

    I so want to do these for my daughters 9th birthday, but where do I get neon pink food coloring? Help!!

    • Sarah says:

      Sorry this IS.SO.LATE! I moved to Japan in the Fall, didn’t have internet for months, and am just now settling in. Whew! I found the Wilton’s gel dye at a craft store, like Michael’s.

  44. Beth says:

    Just delivered these to my favorite survivor. It’s become a go to recipe. Thanks for sharing with us.

  45. Jennifer says:

    Doing a blue & zebra theme baby shower next month. This is such a cute idea, I’ve made these cookies TONS of times but never thought of coloring the dough! Thank you!!!

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  52. Becky says:

    I used Christmas red Wilton & with the peanut butter dough, the tan & red made them more orangey. Any suggestions on how to get from Tan to Hot Pink w/out orange?

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Becky! Oooh, bummer. I definitely remember my dough looking pretty pink. (And currently living in Japan with no way to retest a batch for you.) Two quick options:

      1.) Were you using a natural peanut butter? Sometimes those are a bit darker in color. I used JIF creamy in this recipe.

      2.) Maybe add a little bit more red dye? My Wilton’s red definitely created a bright pink color. I also used a bit of it to dye sanding sugar a bright pink and rolled the cookies in the pink sugar before baking. The finished cookies were sort of a sparkly pink.

      Good luck!

  53. Insung says:

    Yummy! and i like it more just because it is pink!

  54. MC says:

    Reblogged this on Pearls, Diamonds and Everything Else and commented:
    How cute are these peanut butter Kiss cookies?

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  57. Jennifer says:

    I’ve been making these cookies since I found your post on Pinterest a couple years ago. It’s my daughter’s bday Wednesday and she requests these cookies every year, but unfortunately, mama pea shut down her site and I didn’t print the recipe :-( Is there any chance you could give me the recipe? Thanks so much!

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Jennifer! Oh, bummer, with teaching in Japan last year and everything, I didn’t know that that Mama Pea shut down her blog. I know she has some amazing cookbooks! This is the recipe that I used, which is a slight change from her original recipe:


      1/2 c. butter
      3/4 c. peanut butter
      1/2 c. brown sugar
      3/4 c. powdered sugar
      1 t. vanilla extract
      1 t. baking powder
      1/2 t. baking soda
      3/4 t. salt
      1 1/2 c. unbleached flour
      1-2 T milk (may depend on your dough –> I used 2 T)
      Wilton’s Christmas Red gel food coloring –> A few drops until it turns hot pink
      Pink sugar (you could buy pink sprinkles too, but I just dyed some sugar pink with Wilton’s Christmas Red gel)
      Hershey’s Hugs


      The dough is super easy to mix. I creamed the butter and peanut butter together for 1-2 minutes, then added the rest of the ingredients just until the flour is all mixed in. (I try not to overmix cookie dough.) You are going for a stiff dough, that almost resembles Play-Doh, so you may have to adjust your flour/milk ratios. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Roll into 1 inch cookie dough balls, then roll in sugar, and then place on lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 11-12 minutes.

      I make sure all my Hugs are unwrapped while the cookies are baking, so when I take the cookies out of the oven (leting them cool for a couple of minutes, and then removing them off the hot cookie sheet onto a cool surface) I can quickly place a Hershey’s Hug in the middle of the cookies. Once completely cool, the chocolate Hug will be all set and ready for the party!

      Hope they are a hit at the b-day party!

      • Jennifer says:

        Thank you so much and enjoy Japan…Tokyo is one of my favorite cities in the world! :-)

  58. Eryn says:

    I came across your site while looking for recipes for my daughters Varsity soccer event to raise money for breast cancer prevention (yours came up because of the pink) and wanted to make you aware that the link to Mama Pea’s Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Balls takes you to a pornographic picture. It appears to be her site, but my guess is it has been hacked.

    • Sarah says:

      Hi Eryn! Well THAT’S good to know. Thank you! I posted that blog post years ago when her site was still working, and didn’t want to repost her own recipe. I removed the bad link and wrote my full adapted recipe out in the post since the link to the recipe was obviously broken. Thanks again!

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