“The Heat is On” Spicy PB Shortbreads

Heat Is On PB Shortbreads -Title Shot

I love peanut butter. This one time, in high school, a friend’s dad got me to run 5 miles for a giant jar of it on a dare. It was 1980, and there was a peanut butter shortage. I did what I had to do.

Fast forward to June of this year, when I attended the BlogHerFood conference in Austin. I had the best time and met so many fabulous food bloggers, but I was also fortunate to meet some really nice people from companies represented at the event like Adam Shapiro from Peanut Butter & Co.

Adam & I sat at the same breakfast table the first morning of the conference, but didn’t get a chance to talk. Later that weekend, I bumped into him again and got a chance to strike up a conversation and share how much I love their peanut butter (most especially their Dark Chocolate Dreams – it’s sin in a jar). Adam asked if I’d heard about their new flavor – The Heat is On. It’s a crazy blend of peanut butter and spicy chilies.

When I say crazy, I mean crazy genius. We talked about the standard things that came to mind, like using it in a peanut satay or in a dipping sauce for egg rolls or dumplings. But as we were talking, I kept thinking about what it would be like in a cookie. Specifically, a peanut butter shortbread cookie dipped in chocolate.

Adam was intrigued by the idea. Enough so that he offered to send me some peanut butter to play with. This was truly one of the greatest and most unexpected pleasures of attending my first food blogging conference – connecting with fascinating people you’d never have a chance to meet otherwise and sharing a passion for food. True to his word, here’s what Adam sent:

PB&Co Box

Not just one jar, but an entire box of various Peanut Butter & Co flavors. I was simultaneously stunned and thrilled. He even included a jar of the Dark Chocolate Dreams. What a guy! Lilly Bug (our granddaughter) immediately fell in love with the dark chocolate peanut butter. She’s a girl after her Nana’s heart. Jonah Bear (our grandson) loved the maple. He’s a pancake kind of dude, so that’s not really surprising. Personally, I went into that jar of Cinnamon Raisin Swirl with a spoon and almost didn’t come back out. I’m officially obsessed with it.

PB&Co The Heat is On

But this spicy The Heat is On is what inspired these cookies. This richly roasted peanut butter combined with a spicy blend of heat is as bold as it is fun. It’s just spicy enough to feel the burn spread across your palate, but not so spicy you’re running for a glass of water. It’s a party in a jar, and now it’s a party in a cookie. And all because I stepped out of my comfort zone and initiated a conversation with a super guy who just happened to work for a peanut butter company that I love.

The Heat is On Peanut Butter Shortbreads – for Adam
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup ‘The Heat is On’ spicy peanut butter
1/4 cup plain crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons honey or agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon table salt

In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter and peanut butter, beating with an electric mixer until well blended. Add the brown sugar, honey or agave nectar and vanilla extract, beating until combined. Sift together the flour and salt and add it slowly to the butter mixture, beating until the flour is fully absorbed.

Heat Is On PB Shortbreads - Pressed with a Glass

To press with a glass for a decorative cookie:
Scoop enough dough into the palm of your hand to form a ball roughly the size of a golf ball. Line a cookie sheet with a Silpat baking mat or parchment paper. Space the balls of cookie dough about 2″ apart and press with the bottom of a decorative glass. If the glass tries to stick to the dough, dip it in granulated sugar.

Heat Is On PB Shortbreads - Slice & Bake style

To use the slice & bake method:
Shape the cookie dough into a log and roll in plastic wrap, twisting the ends to seal them shut. Refrigerate at least one hour, then unwrap and slice into 1/4″ slices. Place the cookies 1″ apart on a lined cookie sheet.

To bake:
Pre-heat your oven to 275F. Place your oven rack in the middle portion of the oven, and bake the cookies for 40 minutes. Remember – everyone’s oven is different and some run hotter than others. Start checking the cookies at 30 minutes. If you gently press the center of the cookie and it gives a little, let them stay in a few minutes longer. I baked mine for exactly 40 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheets until completely cooled. Store in an airtight container for up to one week. If you want to kick it up a notch, consider dipping them in chocolate. I did. #NoRegrets.

Heat Is On PB Shortbreads - Dipped Close-Up

To dip in chocolate:
I let the cookies cool overnight to make sure they were completely cooled. Next, combine 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips with 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips and set them over a double-boiler to melt. Once melted, whisk until the chocolate mixture is perfectly smooth, with no lumps. Scrape the chocolate into a small glass or ramekin and dip each cookie individually, placing them on waxed paper to set.

Heat Is On PB Shortbreads - Drizzed in Chocolate

In a rush? You can scrape the melted chocolate into a zippered plastic food storage bag, press it all down to one corner of the bag, and snip the corner off. Using a quick back & forth method, drizzle the cookies until all are decorated. Then squeeze some into your mouth for good measure, and throw away the used bag. After that, it’s just a matter of waiting for the chocolate to set up, if you can wait that long. I’ve never been good at waiting, especially with cookies.

Heat Is On PB Shortbreads - Final Close-Up

Tip: If you live in a warm, humid climate like I do (hello, Houston), spread your waxed paper onto a cookie sheet before you dip or drizzle your cookies with chocolate. Once done, you can pop the entire pan into the fridge for 30 minutes or the freezer for 10 minutes to help the chocolate firm up.

Note: This recipe is adapted from a shortbread recipe at Living Tastefully. This post is not sponsored by Peanut Butter & Co. As stated above, the company provided me with a box of product to sample. All opinions (and drooling) are my own. Special thanks to Adam Shapiro of Peanut Butter & Co for his generosity.

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29 Comments

Filed under Food & Recipes, Things I Love

29 responses to ““The Heat is On” Spicy PB Shortbreads

  1. I love them so much! And you think sort of the same way I think. I’m always trying to shove odd items into dessert. Brava, Jeanne!

    And I’m so glad you enjoyed BHF!

  2. The Baby

    Chilies and chocolate have been bed fellows for a while, why not the peanut? These sound yummy. I bet it’d be good in fudge drop cookies too.

  3. juanitascocina

    You did whaaaa? See…this is a cookie that is meant to be. Because why wouldn’t this make sense?

  4. Big Sis

    Veeerrrrryy interesting! I with baby sis, you need to make a batch of these or the fudge drops for Thanksmas!! ;)

    • I hadn’t thought of using it in Mom’s no-bake fudge drops until The Baby mentioned it. I think it needs to happen! I’ll work up a test batch and see what happens. I love food science. :)

  5. Mmm! The Heat is On is one of the last PB Co. flavors I have to try. Making my way through a jar of the Mighty Maple right now, mmm!

    • That Mighty Maple is fantastic stuff! I hope you can find a jar of ‘The Heat is On’ so you can try it. If not, you can always order it directly from Peanut Butter & Co on their website. They offer frequent specials and discounts and ship direct to your door. Woot!

  6. I’ve never seen this peanut butter before. I love that there are so many unqiue flavors to choose from. I’ll take a dozen of those delicious cookies you made and a quart of milk – please!

    • Hahaha… sorry, Eileen. I learned my lesson during this year’s Bake Sale for Beka event – don’t offer to ship cookies that are dipped in chocolate during the summer. It’s no bueno in our heat. And also very expensive. You need to find this peanut butter so you can experiment. If it’s not in your local stores, it can be ordered via their website. Go for it!

  7. I love that dark chocolate PB!

  8. These are so darn pur-tee! Holy wow I want a dozen wrapped up in a sweet lookin’ package.

  9. I NEED to get my hands on a jar. These cookies need to make an appearance in my oven as soon as I get myself a jar of the spice PB.

  10. Kaitlyn

    I love peanut butter too! Yum!!! Those look delicous!
    New follower!
    My 2 owls

    • Hi, Kaitlyn! Thanks for the follow!
      Love your blog – your boys are adorable!
      Also love your ‘Happies & Crappies’ feature. :)
      Here’s to our mutual love of peanut butter {clink!}
      -jeanne

  11. OMG Jeanne…..these look absolutely phenomenal!!!! I love peanut butter and I often wondered why no one tried to jazz up the flavor before. What a great haul of peanut butters you got in that box! I hope we’ll be seeing more peanut butter recipes in your future. Maybe a good theme for the Theme Weavers next??? Also, I love the pattern of your cookies. I thought you might have a special cookie press. Unfortunately, I’ve looked at the bottom of so many of my glasses….but nothing special going on! These cookies are just beautiful and I bet they taste amazing! : )

    • Anne, check the bottoms of the jars in your pantry! I actually found a jar of fruit that had a great pattern in the bottom of it. I suggest a jar safari the next time you’re digging through your pantry. You never know what you might find! As for additional peanut butter recipes, I’m already considering how to work that Mighty Maple into a banana pancake recipe. Care to join me?

  12. Jeanne,these are gorgeous and inspired shortbread cookies! I LOVE shortbread for the variety of flavors possible and their incredibly long shelf life. I never would have thought of using spicy peanut butter in a cookie but your flavors sound wonderful. I will be trying them as soon as I find a jar of that peanut butter! The Peanut Butter and Co. chocolate flavor has saved me from nutella envy. :) I am allergic to tree nuts but not peanuts. I sub the chocolate peanut butter successfully in most nutella recipes. The only difference to account for is the chocolate peanut butter has less sugar than nutella (and some actual nutritional value as opposed to nutella!). I recently went to my first blogging conference too! Mine was a fraction of the size of BlogHerFood and I was still nervous! :) I would love to be able to go to a BlogHerFood conference in the future.

    • Thank you, Wendy!
      I love this new spicy PB & chocolate combo, and shortbread is my all-time favorite cookie. I hope you find The Heat is On soon so you can try these. I think you’ll be quite pleased. If it’s not in stores, you can order it directly from Peanut Butter & Co online. They usually run great specials, too, so you can get discounts on multiple jars and try some of their other flavors. I highly recommend the Cinnamon Raisin Swirl and Mighty Maple. Dark Chocolate Dreams has always been my favorite. And I haven’t opened the White Chocolate yet, so I’ll have to get back to you on that one. They also make a Bees Knees with honey that I need to try once I empty the six jars I already have in my pantry. #firstworldproblems

      I hope to run into you at a blogging conference soon! -jeanne

  13. I probably would have thought I’d died and gone to heaven if I received a package like that. These shortbreads sound really tasty!

    • Thanks, Melanie! My husband, The Complete Package, has always said “Food always tastes better when someone else cooks it.” I’ll go one step further and say that nothing tastes better than homemade cookies baked by someone who loves you. If you make these for someone you love, I hope you’ll let me know how they turned out! -jeanne

  14. Pingback: 31 Days of Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter? Let’s make that 32. | Inside NanaBread's Head

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