Homemade Peppery Peanut Butter Cookies will melt in your mouth but leave you with a spicy surprise. A little cayenne enhances this classic cookie recipe.
I was looking for a new cookie recipe to send back to school with Natalie to help her get through finals week. She asked for something not too sweet. One of her favorite snacks when she lived at home were salt and pepper roasted peanuts. We discovered them at Fresh Market and then for some reason, they stopped carrying them. Adding pepper to salty peanuts was such a great idea. So why not make a peppery peanut butter cookies!
The recipe for Peppery Peanut Butter Cookies was adapted from a recipe in a new cookbook by Samantha Seneviratne called The New Sugar & Spice. The chapters are divided by seasoning and the first chapter is Peppercorn and Chili. I bought the cookbook specifically to make the salt and pepper caramel brownies but haven’t had a chance to try them yet.
These cookies are everyone’s new favorite. You start with a traditional peanut butter cookie dough, I used Justin’s peanut butter, to make it a little healthier and less sweet. Then add salted roasted peanuts and the secret ingredient, cayenne pepper. Bite into these, and get a hint of pepper that lingers after you’ve finished the cookie. Unusual but awesome.
With most peanut butter cookies you can’t use natural peanut butter. I really like Justin’s peanut butter and as long as you mix it well before using, it works great in these cookies. I have used both natural and regular Jiff and both create delicious cookies.
What you’ll need for homemade peanut butter cookies
- Cayenne pepper – just a little bit goes a long way in these cookies
- Peanut butter – natural or regular will both work for these cookies
- Peanuts – salted and roasted for a great crunch, use any leftover peanuts in some crunchy peanut butter cookies.
- Pantry staples – butter, brown sugar, regular sugar, flour, baking soda, vanilla and an egg,
How do you make peanut butter cookies
Step 1: Cream the butter and sugars and then add peanut butter, an egg and vanilla and mix until creamy.
Step 2: Add the flour mixture including the cayenne pepper and mix until combined. Mix in salted roasted chopped peanuts.
Step 3: Form into balls, I like to use a cookie scoop, and use a fork to make criss cross marks on the top of each cookie. Dip the fork in sugar to keep the dough from sticking.
Step 4: Bake until golden brown.
These got a thumbs up from everyone which means I will be including them in my bags of cookie gifts this year. I always try to find some unusual cookies to give to friends for Christmas and I think these will be perfect. Last year I made Cornmeal Lime Cookies and Cream Cheese Walnut Cookies, check them out if you’re looking for something different and don’t want to go the spicy route.
Just a note you may need to put a warning on these, most people don’t expect a cookie to be spicy.
FAQ’s and tips
Most peanut butter cookies need emulsified peanut butter, Jiff is my favorite, bu for these cookies you can use natural peanut butter, like Justin’s. Just make sure the peanut butter is mixed well.
Try using a hand mixer with just one beater attached. Put it down in the jar of peanut butter, over a sink, just in case you get messy. Beat it on low until it is smooth, then store in the refrigerator.
These don’t serve any purpose except to identify them as a peanut butter cookie. It’s just tradition,
Dip a fork in sugar before making each criss cross in the dough. That will keep the dough from sticking to the fork.
You don’t have to refrigerate this dough, you can get instant satisfaction. If you need to refrigerate it for later, let it warm up before forming into balls.
More peanut butter treats you’ll love
- Double peanut butter cookies
- Peanut butter sandwich cookies
- Peanut butter Rice Krispie bars
- Peanut butter brownies
- Oatmeal peanut butter bars
- Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies
- No-bake peanut butter bars
- Tiger Butter
- Crunchy peanut butter cookies
Adapted from The New Sugar & Spice
Peppery Peanut Butter Cookies
- ½ cup butter softened
- ⅓ cup suar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup natural peanut butter
- 1 egg room temp
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 ¼ cups flour
- 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
- ¾ teaspoon cayenne
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ cup roasted salted peanuts chopped
- Preheat oven to 350º. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- With an electric mixer, combine butter and sugar and mix until creamy. Add peanut butter, egg and vanilla and mix to combine.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt, cayenne and soda. Add to peanut butter mixture and mix on low until just combined. Stir in peanuts.
- With an ice cream scoop, measure out 2 tablespoon balls and place on prepared sheets. Dip a fork into sugar and flatten tops using a crisscross pattern.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes, until slightly browned on edges. Let cool on wire rack for 5 minutes before removing from cookie sheets.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- You can use natural or regular smooth peanut butter in this recipe, if using natural, make sure it is mixed well.
- To keep the dough from sticking to the fork with making criss crosses, dip the fork in sugar.
- You do not need to refrigerate this dough before baking.