Puerto Rican Coconut Kisses

Puerto Rican Coconut Kisses

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
240 Calories
14g Fat
27g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 240
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 9g 47%
Cholesterol 85mg 28%
Sodium 156mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 10%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Protein 4g
Calcium 46mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Besitos de coco, the Spanish term for "coconut kisses," is a favorite treat in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean islands and in many parts of Latin America, from Venezuela to Uruguay. A type of macaroon, these treats are easy to make and require very few ingredients. After just a few minutes of preparation, the sweet, coconutty bites get golden brown and crispy in the oven. Enjoy with your coffee for a delicious afternoon pick-me-up, pack in your kid's lunchboxes for a yummy surprise, or bake bigger batches to give away as holiday presents. These besitos keep well at room temperature for a few days if stored in an airtight container, although there might not be many left to store as they are simply irresistible.

Most recipes for besitos de coco are similar, with eggs, butter, and flour making the base for the unsweetened coconut flakes. But plain coconut flavor doesn't have to be it for this recipe. Although decadent and moist as is, our cookies can take on many alternative ingredients. Our recipe is a great starting point to which you can add crushed nuts, seeds, or peanuts, or as in our suggestion, drizzle with delicious melted chocolate—or fully dip if you are a chocolate lover. Experiment with your favorite combinations and adjust the recipe if you have other dietary needs. For instance, use fine white corn flour (harina masa) or white rice flour instead of the all-purpose flour for a gluten-free version. Or use vegan margarine to make a dairy-free take. No matter the tweaks, these besitos are wonderful and you shouldn't miss the chance to try them out.

Coconut has come into the spotlight in the 21st century due in part to the craze surrounding coconut oil and coconut water. Both delicious products have helped to bring back old-school coconut recipes and new takes on classics while highlighting the nutritional benefits of coconut. High in fat and particularly in manganese—a key mineral that promotes the health of bones, connective tissue, hormones, and blood sugar—coconut is easy to incorporate into your diet, and not only in desserts. The same coconut you use to make the besitos can be added to curries, salads, sauces, spreads, granolas, or trail mix, or simply be eaten on its own as a mildly sweet snack.

"These tropical-style macaroons are easy to whip up and truly are like a kiss of coconut. I love that they use unsweetened coconut, so they aren't too sweet. You can garnish them with chocolate if you like, but I enjoyed mine just as they were." —Tracy Wilk

A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 3 cups coconut flakes, unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 ounces/1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons coconut extract, or vanilla extract
  • For Garnishing:
  • Optional: 2-3 ounces dark or milk chocolate, melted

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Puerto Rican Coconut Kisses ingredients

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  2. Heat oven to 350 F/177 C. Grease a 13-by-9-by-2-inch cookie sheet.

    greased cookie sheet

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  3. In a bowl, thoroughly mix coconut flakes, flour, egg yolks, brown sugar, butter and extract until a sticky dough that is moldable forms.

    mix coconut flakes, flour, egg yolks, brown sugar, butter and extract together in a bowl

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  4. Divide the dough into 24 uniform balls and place on the prepared baking sheet.

    cookie dough balls on a cookie sheet

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  5. Bake for about 25 minutes. They should be golden brown. Let cool completely.

    baked cookies on a cooling rack

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

  6. If desired, drizzle with melted chocolate.

    Puerto Rican Coconut Kisses

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni