Y’all asked for cookies. Well here’s your dose…
Unexpectedly, the country of Suriname has stolen my heart. Their cuisine was not one I consciously thought about exploring. It’s a small country on the northern coast of South America and there is more than a handful of countries that are above Suriname on my “Must Visit in South America” list. But as life would have it, I got my exposure in Amsterdam.
As Suriname is a former Dutch colony, there is significant concentration of Surinamese that reside in the Netherlands. While only 2% of the population of the Netherlands is Surinamese, 40% of the Surinamese population lives in the Netherlands. And they need to eat! All around Amsterdam one can find little Surinamese markets in addition to the food booths set up at the farmer’s markets.
One Saturday while perusing the goods at Albert Cuyp Markt, I came across a booth selling fresh corn and green chile fritters the size of my face. The lovely lady then piled on a bright yellow chile sauce covering the warm fritter and handed it over in a foil pouch. My mouth was aflame with spicy goodness. The Surinamese definitely embrace the heat, and therefore I embrace them.
After careful exploration of one of their small shops, one product caught my attention. In Dutch, the label read ‘Picante Pindakaas’ which means ‘spicy peanut butter’. Well, it literally means “spicy peanut cheese”, but that sounds a lot less pleasant.
Anyways, it was a no-brainer. I yanked it off the shelf determined to make peanut butter cookies. Let’s be completely honest, this stuff is flippin’ hot! Like so hot I had people taste it as a prank. They were mad. Extremely mad. The heat can knock you off your feet.
Now that we are back in the States and lack access to Surinamese foodstuffs, adding cayenne to peanut butter cookie dough is a superb substitution. Ten seconds and it will get you. The heat comes on gradually and is so delicious with the salty peanuts. And milk.
Spicy Cayenne Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe
(makes about 28)
1/2 c (114g) unsalted butter, room temp
1/4 c (45g) granulated sugar
3/4 c (160g) light brown sugar, packed
1/2 c (130g) peanut butter, chunky or smooth
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 c (175g) all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 c Spanish peanuts (approximately)
For the cookie dough
Cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat until fully incorporated. Add peanut butter and vanilla. Mix until combined.
In separate bowl, using a fork combine flour, salt, baking powder and pepper. Add dry ingredients to mixing bowl. Mix just until dough is combined. Dough will be very soft.
Mix in flour until batter forms.
To finish the cookies
Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop heaping tablespoon-size pieces of dough (about 30g), gently roll into balls and place on baking sheet.
Take a few peanuts and gently press down into the top of the cookie, flattening the dough. I used 4 peanuts on every cookie but that is only evident of my compulsive tendencies. Once all cookies are topped with peanuts, chill cookies for 15m.
While chilling, preheat oven to 375F (190C).
Remove cookies from fridge and bake for 12m. Let cool. Cookies should have golden edges and slightly soft in the center, but not shiny. Shiny means raw. Store cookies in airtight container. Grab some milk!