Chili Crisp Peanut Butter Cookies

It feels like everyone’s using chili crisp these days– the spicy, crunchy, garlicky condiment goes well with all different kinds of cuisines, adding punch to soups, sandwiches, pastas, and basically any other savory dish. But what about sweets? That’s what I asked myself when I spied some chili crisp peanut butter cookies in a Korean bakery the other day– could it really work?

Being, well, me, I opted not to buy a cookie, but to make one. Ever-so-slightly adapting a recipe from Zoe Kanan, I ended up with these– they’re soft, with slightly crisp edges (I may have underbaked mine, but better under than over), with a complex flavor profile that combines spice, umami, and the unmistakable echo of garlic that comes from the chili crisp. It totally works, though I’m glad I followed the instructions and made the cookies on the small side. I don’t think you’d want to eat a dozen of these in a sitting, but they are definitely interesting, tasty, and will earn you some points for creativity at your next cookie swap!

Chili Crisp Peanut Butter Cookies

(slightly adapted from Zoe Kanan)

  • 1 cup (260 grams) creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon (20 grams) yellow or white miso
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar, plus extra for finishing
  • ½ cup (100 grams) light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon (6 grams) baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon (24 grams total) chili crisp
  • Chile flakes
  • Coarse raw sugar, for finishing
  • In a bowl, stir together peanut butter and miso until combined. Add egg and stir until smooth. It’ll start out slimy, but keep stirring and the mixture will end up almost dough-like.
  • Add the sugars, salt, and baking soda and stir in thoroughly. The mixture will be sandy but it’ll come together.
  • Stir in chili crisp until just combined.
  • Scoop into 1 1/2 tbs. balls (I got 22) and chill for at least 2 hours, or overnight.When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Roll balls in additional granulated sugar and place on cookie sheets lined with parchment or foil. Use a fork to cross-hatch the cookies, pressing down about halfway to flatten.
  • Sprinkle flattened cookies with chile flakes.
  • Bake 7-8 minutes, until pufffed with slightly crisped edges.
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle with coarse raw sugar. Let cool completely on pan (they will be very soft at this point).

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