Habanero-lime tea cookies and optional hot sauce icing

This fluffy tea cookie looks innocent, but packs a surprise! Habaneros provide just enough heat to wow your guests. 

(makes 12-18 cookies)


½ butter, room temperature

½ c packed brown sugar                  

½ c granulated sugar

1 egg                                   

½ tsp vanilla                                      

Zest of 2-3 limes 

3 tbsp lime juice (juice of roughly 2-3 limes)

1 ¾ c flour                          

½ tsp baking soda                             

½ tsp salt

3 finely chopped orange habaneros (or other hot peppers about the same size)



  1. Cream butter and sugars together.
  2. Mix in egg, lime juice, lime zest and vanilla until well combined.
  3. Add flour to bowl, add baking soda and salt to flour and gently mix dry ingredients together before mixing with the wet mixture (this skips the usual “dry bowl/wet bowl” approach).
  4. Add chopped peppers and mix until incorporated.
  5. Using two spoons (not your bare hands), drop 2” ball of dough onto a silicone baking liner such as Silpat (or non-stick baking pan)
  6. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes, remove from oven and transfer to cooling rack.

If you want these cookies to be hotter or less hot, use a different variety of pepper; do not significantly alter the amount of pepper. Using too many peppers can make the dough not hold together. 

****Want a sweeter cookie? These are great with simple powdered sugar icing (start with a tablespoon of water and use a fork to mix in powdered sugar until you get your desired consistency). Want another spin? Use hot sauce instead of water to make the icing!! Choose hot sauces that have minimal amounts of savory spices, such as garlic and cumin. Flash Point's Screaming Banshee sauce and Rising Smoke Sauce works pineapple sauce are excellent choices for this!