Besitos Picantes Recipe

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.


  • 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. 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. 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. 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.