Smoky Chili Peanut Butter Cookies

four cookies, one half eaten, on a white plate with chili flakes scattered around the marble countertop.

A special post today in collaboration with Portland Spicy Peanut Butter. These Smoky Chili Peanut Butter Cookies are a fudgy, sweet and savory treat best enjoyed warm from the oven with a glass of milk. Spice it up a little and Keep Portland Weird with this quick bake!

Note: If you can’t find ground guajillos, just use a whole dried one, remove the stem and seeds, and grind until fine in a bullet blender or spice grinder.

Very loosely based on a recipe from Mama Needs Cake.

Makes 9 cookies.

  • 1/2 tsp ground guajillo chili (see note)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp milk powder
  • 1/2 cup Portland Spicy Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp smoke seasoning
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • smoked sea salt flakes (optional)

To prepare:

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Put the ground chili in a small heat-proof bowl. Melt butter over medium-low, then add the milk powder and whisk well to avoid clumping. Continue cooking until the butter browns to a nice nutty color, being careful not to burn it. Remove immediately from heat and pour over the ground peppers.

Give it a quick whisk and set aside to cool until it’s warm, rather than hot (so the egg won’t scramble). In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, spicy peanut butter, egg, maple syrup, vanilla, smoke, and salt. Mix well. Add the butter and mix. Add the flour and baking powder and mix just until no more dry pockets of flour can be seen.

Use a 3 tbsp cookie scoop to portion onto an ungreased baking tray, spaced at least an inch apart. If you don’t have a scoop, just roll balls of about 3 tbsp and put them on the tray without flattening them.

Bake 11-13 minutes, then let cool on the tray a bit. You can sprinkle on pinch of flaky smoked salt as they come out of the oven, if desired. The smoky chili peanut butter cookies are especially tasty while they’re still warm, but once fully cooled, any leftovers can be stored on the countertop in an airtight container.  

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