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Jalapeño Sugar Cookies aka Holiday Hotties

Last weekend, we had our family’s annual Cookie Day. Generally, this is the day we bake all the cookies we’ll consume over the holiday season. The cookies change year to year, but some of us have staples that we make time and time again: my Aunt makes rose-flavored cookies, my Grandma’s chocolate-chip, fruitcake cookies live on through someone each year, my Dad and my oldest son make coconut-tempters, and I have my jalapeño sugar cookies.

Several years back, I became obsessed with adding jalapeños to my cooking.  Stir-frys, soups, sandwiches, salads. If it could be assembled, there would be jalapeños in it. So, while trying to come up with my Cookie Day cookie that year, I naturally thought, “Jalapeños!” And, thus, the Jalapeño Sugar Cookie was born!

I’ve since overcome the jalapeño addiction. My stomach isn’t what it used to be. But the jalapeño cookies, thankfully, live on. 

Over time, this cookie has been modified. I’ve tried a multitude of ingredients and baking techniques in order to make this the most perfect holiday cookie. And it stands up to scrutiny.

A word of caution, though: the jalapeño you choose for this recipe will greatly affect the heat in the finished product. Some years you can barely taste the jalapeño, and others, like this year, it’s overwhelming. So, when in doubt, leave the seeds out.

NOTE: I am neither a food scientist nor a culinary expert. The following recipe is one altered from a sugar cookie recipe I found years ago. It has been tweeked to fit a vegan diet. Results may vary

aka Holiday Hotties


  • 2 c. all purpose flour
  • 3/4 c. vegan butter, soft (I use Earth Balance)
  • 3/4 c. sugar (I use either organic raw cane sugar or beet sugar)
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 jalapeño, diced with or without seeds
  • Sprinkle of salt

With a mixer, combine butter and sugar until fluffy.

Add cornstarch, vanilla, baking powder, jalapeño, and salt. Beat until mixed.

Add half the flour. Mix. Add the remaining flour. Mix.

Place dough in refrigerator for, at least, 2 hours to chill.

Remove dough from refrigerator, and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

With hands, roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Balls should be roughly 2 inches apart.

Place in the oven, and bake 15 – 20 minutes. The time will vary from oven to oven, so it’s best to keep an eye on the cookies the first time around.

Remove the cookies from the oven and let cool. Enjoy!

Let me know your thoughts on this recipe in the comments below!

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