Spicy Peanut and Toasted Coconut Cookies

Stacy Newgent
These cookies were inspired by Jeni Britton Bauer's Bangkok peanut ice cream--a tantalizing blend of toasted coconut and peanut butter cream, finished with a sharp prickle of cayenne pepper.

The sweet-and-spicy juxtaposition is addictive, sending you back for bite after bite. Lucky for me, Jeni is a hometown fixture, with shops located dangerously near my house, and I can have this splendid stuff whenever I want. I've worked these flavors into a crispy, sticky, spicy cookie--with just a tingle of spice. 

Ingredients
  • 1 cup (80g) shredded unsweetened coconut 
  • 3 cups (135 g) chow mein noodles 
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) honey or light corn syrup 
  • 1/2 cup (110 g) packed brown sugar 
  • 1 cup (240 ml) natural unsweetened peanut butter, well stirred 
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne 
Instructions

Line a large baking sheet with wax paper.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the coconut. Toast the coconut, stirring frequently, until it is light brown and crispy. Pour it into a large bowl and stir in the chow mein noodles.

Combine the honey or corn syrup and the sugar in a small saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 1 minute, then turn off the heat and stir in the peanut butter until fully incorporated. The mixture should look glossy. Stir in the vanilla, salt, and cayenne. Immediately stir the mixture into the coconut and noodles.

Drop by spoonfuls onto the baking sheet. Cool for 10 minutes, or until set. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. 

From Bakeless Sweets by Faith Durand, Stewart, Tabori and Chang, 2013.

Categories: 
CookiesDesserts
Yield: 
Makes about 24 cookies
  • American-made buffalo milk products aren't mainstream yet

    Since moving to the U.S. decades ago, Sruthi Pinnamaneni has been searching for American-made buffalo milk products. "There's just not enough buffalo milk to make them," she says. Steve Smith, who runs a buffalo dairy in Colorado, and Raffaele Mascolo, who brings milk to the U.S. from Italy, are two people who hope to change that.

Top Recipes

In Ethiopia, fearing famine and farming teff

Chef Daniel Klein and camerawoman Mirra Fine of the weekly, online documentary series The Perennial Plate learned about farming teff in Ethiopia.