Fiery Peanut Butter Cookies

January 24, 2011

I love a bit of heat in my dessert baking. A few years ago I experimented with spicy peanut butter in my cookies and they were a hit. These are made with PB & Co The Heat Is On peanut butter that was sent to me to try back then. As expected, I was an instant fan.

Fiery Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe | Fake Food Free | A classic peanut butter cookie with a spicy twist!

I know what you are thinking – spicy peanut butter cookies?

To that I answer a resounding – YES!

I’m sure you are no stranger to peanuts with a little spice. Chicken satay with spicy peanut dipping sauce, or maybe roasted peanuts coated in seasonings like chili powder. I love the combination and when a touch of sweetness is added, I think it is even better!

A while back I hosted one of Peanut Butter Boy’s Peanut Exhibitions and Peanut Butter & Company sent us a few new products to try. In email conversations with their PR person, I mentioned that I had wanted to try their spicy peanut butter, The Heat Is On, but it wasn’t available in stores around here. I was thrilled when she emailed a while later and told me she had thrown in a jar of it into my box before it mailed.

I had no idea what to expect from it. I knew it would be spicy, but I was also expecting it to be somewhat sweet.

Well, I was half right. The peanut butter contains no cane sugar, just peanuts and savory, fiery spices. Chili powder, cayenne peppers, crushed red peppers and paprika to be exact.

Fiery Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe | Fake Food Free | A classic peanut butter cookie with a spicy twist!

Now, it is super spicy and I like it a lot, but other than a Thai peanut sauce, I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. Then cookies came to mind.

It seems a little strange at first, but if you like anything sweet and spicy you will love these cookies. I used my favorite recipe from Simply Recipes, but changed the sugars and flour.

As a result you get a slight crunchy texture from the Demerara sugar within a soft and chewy cookie. The first bite is sweet and then it is followed by a slow, building heat on the back of your tongue. 


Fiery Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe | Fake Food Free | A classic peanut butter cookie with a spicy twist!


They are way too complex for a cookie! To me, they hold a sense of international flavor with the peanut and spice. Perfect as a snack when you catch up on some travel-inspired reading.

Fiery Peanut Butter Cookies
Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes

Makes: About 2 dozen cookies


½ cup Demerara sugar
½ cup mascavo sugar
½ cup unsalted butter
½ cup Peanut Butter & Co The Heat Is On Peanut Butter
1 large egg
1 ¼ cups white whole wheat flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt


In a bowl of a mixer, cream together the sugars and butter on medium high. Cream for 3 to 5 minutes to really incorporate the Demerara sugar. Add in the peanut butter, and then the egg. Mix until all ingredients are combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl. Mix just until the flour is incorporated. Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the dough from the fridge and roll into balls and flatten. Mine were about 2 to 2 ½ inches wide. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before serving.

Fiery Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe | Fake Food Free | A classic peanut butter cookie with a spicy twist!


Disclaimer: Peanut Butter & Co sent me this peanut butter free of charge. I was not obligated to blog about it and received no compensation for doing so.


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  • Joanne January 25, 2011 at 5:56 am

    these PB cookies are like none that I’ve ever seen! And I mean that in the best possible way…because they sound amazing! Love the complexity in them.

  • Andrea (Off Her Cork) January 25, 2011 at 8:16 am

    I have wanted to try this PB so bad! I can’t find it anywhere near here so I was just going to make my own. LOL I love that you made cookies with them and I bet they are just perfect tasting. I can totally see the combo working and paired with some of your spicy hot cocoa, yum!

  • Michelle @ Find Your Balance January 25, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Very cool! Now I have never been able to find Demerara or Mascavo sugar. Where do you get it?

  • Lauren January 25, 2011 at 9:53 am

    What a creative idea! I have a jar of The Heat Is On from a PB & Co. project I’m working on, and have been looking for recipes to use it in. Very interesting!

  • kat January 25, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Brilliant! Matt loves peanut butter cookie & heat so these would make me a hero. I wonder if I could do it with regular natural peanut butter & add my own spices?

  • 5 Star Foodie January 25, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Very unique cookies with this fiery peanut butter! My husband and I would love it for sure!

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  • Lori January 25, 2011 at 8:38 pm

    Joanne – They are definitely different, but a very good different. 🙂

    Andrea – Yeah, we can’t find it here either. It would have to be ordered online. I’m not sure what else I would use it for. The jar suggests stuffing celery with it which would be good.

    Michelle – Mascavo is the same as muscovado which I’m able to find at specialty stores here like Whole Foods and Fresh Market. It is very expensive though. I’ve had friends bringing it to me from Brazil since we moved back. It is almost as inexpensive as white sugar there. I find Demerara at Wal-mart or our local grocery store – Kroger. It would be similar to turbanado though.

    Lauren – I’ll be interested to see what recipes you come up with. It is a rather challenging ingredient! 🙂

    kat – I really think you could. It would be easy to toss the nut butter in a food processor with the spices. Or just add the spices to a standard PB cookie recipe.
    Let me know if you try it!

    5 star – Thanks! My husband loved them too.

  • Marianne (frenchfriestoflaxseeds) January 26, 2011 at 12:52 am

    I think they stopped carrying any of the PB & Co butters here in Canada. It makes me very sad, because The Heat Is On was the only one I had yet to try. Love the idea to use it in a sweet cookie. Kind of like spiced chocolate cookies 🙂

  • Reeni January 26, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    I love that you made cookies out of this! So creative and delicious! Imagine the suprise for someone thinking they are eating a regular cookie – until the heat hits!

  • Lori January 26, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    Marianne – Oh that is a bummer. The other varieties have really only become available here in supermarkets within the last couple years.

    Reeni – Thanks! Yeah, these could go both ways. Warn your friends, maybe not your enemies. Ha, ha! 🙂

  • Jessica Skiftun January 28, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    I’ve had a jar of this pb in my cupboard for over a year. I’ve been trying to decide what to make with it forever. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Zibi January 29, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    I love the combination of sweet and spicy, especially in a cookie. I’ve never seen the PB you used here though, so I’m glad you list the spices it contains… now I can experiment a little 🙂

  • Eliana February 4, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    Love the sweet spicy combo. These cookies look perfect to me.

  • kaf October 8, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    Spicy peanut butter can be found in Haiti and Canada, under the brandname Mamba REBO. Use it in your regular peanut butter cookie recipe. And help rebuild Haiti by buying their products!