Besitos Picantes

[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Swapped at the 2012 SE cookie swap by Tracie Lee. [They are even selling them on their online store at!]

These recipes from our annual Serious Eats Cookie Swap are provided by Serious Eats staff, friends, and family. They have not been tested by our recipe team.

Besitos Picantes

About This Recipe


  • 3 1/2 cups whole blanched almonds
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar (for rolling)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne powder


  1. 1

    Preheat oven to 325°F. Place almonds on a large sheet pan. Roast for 1/2 an hour, stirring once in between. Monitor to ensure the almonds don’t burn. Remove almonds from oven and cool on a rack.

  2. 2

    When almonds are cool, place them in a food processor and process until they’re finely ground but it does not form a paste. Place 200 grams of sugar and water in a pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the ground almonds and stir constantly until thickened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and grind into a smooth paste. Let it cool for a few minutes before rolling.

  3. 3

    Combine 100 grams of sugar, cocoa, cayenne powder and salt in a bowl and mix well. Take the almond mixture and roll into small marble-sized balls with dampened hands. Roll in the sugar/cocoa mixture to coat. You may serve as is or in paper liners.


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