Spicy + Salty + Sweet = A Hot Ticket: Crunchy Peanutpepper Cookies

Samantha Seneviratne's recipe for "Crunchy Peanutpepper Cookies" immediately appealed to me, even though I wasn't familiar with her inspiration for the recipe -- Hot Mix, a South Asian spicy and salty snack mix made from peanuts, raisins, and crunchy noodles. I love spicy nuts and snack mixes, although I have to say that the idea of adding raisins into the picture doesn't seem particularly appealing to me. 
These cookies come together quickly and you can make the dough by hand, although I used a stand mixer. You stir together softened butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until creamy; add peanut butter (Seneviratne specifies natural peanut butter, so I used Fix & Fogg Super Crunchy), egg, and vanilla; incorporate the dry ingredients (flour, salt, cayenne, and baking soda); and stir in roasted, salted peanuts. The recipe says that you are supposed to chop the peanuts, but I was feeling lazy and just added them whole. 
You can bake the dough immediately. I used a #30 scoop to portion out the dough and got 19 cookies from a batch. I used a fork dipped in sugar to make a cross-hatch pattern on top of the cookies before baking.
These cookies didn't spread much and they ended up as compact, hefty pucks. But they were so delicious! They were satisfyingly firm, with lots of crunch from the peanuts, and a terrific, smoldering heat from the cayenne. While I didn't appreciate in the combination of peanut butter and paprika in another cookie recipe, the peanut butter and cayenne in this cookie seemed like best friends that were meant to be together. The cookies were spicy enough that they might turn off people who can only stand mild foods, but I am a fan of spice and I thought the level of heat was perfect. I found this combination of hot, salty, and sweet to be irresistible.
Recipe: "Crunchy Peanutpepper Cookies" from The New Sugar & Spice by Samantha Seneviratne, recipe available here from Food Network.