Nutty and naughty…
For those that love peanut butter (who’s not raising their hand?), get ready for a cookie evolution. Introducing cayenne pepper to the ever-popular peanut butter cookie is sure to make your taste buds scream and shout. It’s earth and fire, sweet and spice, nutty and naughty all in one.
But cayenne pepper is only one direction you can turn. This is one versatile cookie when it comes to spicy seasonings. You could opt for the extreme – something even fiercer (like habanero powder). Or turn things down a notch or three while adding a hint of smoke (with chipotle or ancho powders). They all work and each brings its own twist to this cookie favorite. Feel free to experiment as the traditional peanut butter cookie is a great canvas from which to play.
Spicy Peanut Butter Cookies
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cup natural peanut butter smooth not chunky
- 1 1/4 cup light brown sugar packed
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1/2 cup salted peanuts chopped
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the softened butter and peanut butter. Stir well until smooth.
- Add the egg, light brown sugar, cayenne pepper, vanilla, and milk. Stir to combine.
- Separately combine the all-purpose flour, sea salt, and baking soda. Then pour the flour mix into the peanut butter mix. Stir until fully combined.
- Add the chopped salted peanuts to the peanut butter mix. Stir to combine.
- Roll the dough into balls (about 2 tablespoons of dough per ball), then place the cookie dough balls onto the parchment lined baking sheets. The dough balls should be approximately two inches apart.
- Using a fork to create a crisscross pattern, flatten the tops of the cookies. Slightly coat the fork with flour each time to keep the dough from sticking to the fork.
- Put the baking sheets in the oven and bake the cookies for 10 minutes (the cookie edges should be lightly brown).
- Remove the cookies from the oven and transfer them to a wire rack to allow them to cool.
Feel free to experiment with the type of chili pepper powder used. Cayenne pepper packs a strong medium heat with a more neutral flavor. If you prefer a milder spicy cookie try chipotle powder (low-medium heat) or ancho powder (mild heat). Both also give a little smokiness to the cookie. If you prefer a much hotter cookie (for the extreme eaters out there), habanero powder also works.