While I agree that 1 teaspoon of dried ground cayenne per pint does seem like a bit too much for my taste - there is no indication that they mean anything else.
Normally, if they were talking about fresh peppers, the instructions would say something like - 1 small cayenne pepper (for a whole pepper), or 1 teaspoon sliced/chopped cayenne pepper if using a fresh pepper.
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain