A few years ago when my friend Katy and I went to Mexico City, we found ourselves at a bar near the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, where we were served a sweet and spicy snack mix while getting a drink at a nearby bar before our reservation at Pujol. The snack mix was so memorable to me that when we arrived home, before any other recipes from our trip, I attempted to recreate my version of the snack mix from memory. I made it for months following our trip and ate it daily. Here is the result – sweet and spicy snack mix. 

It is totally addicting – it is sweet and spicy and salty and crunchy with layers of nutty, chewy, crispy texture throughout. I absolutely love it. You could honestly eat it for breakfast like good old GORP or snack on it throughout the day for a burst of sweetness + spice. 


  • 3 cups roasted, unsalted peanuts
  • 3 cups raw pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted (or another neutral oil)
  • 1 tablespoon chile flakes or crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup dried mango, cut into ¼ inch squares
  • 2 cups dried cranberries
  • 2 cups corn nuts


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, combine the peanuts, pumpkin seeds, and coconut oil. Add the red pepper flakes, cayenne, and salt. Mix until thoroughly combined. Spread onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, then mix the nuts around the pan, bringing the nuts on the edges into the center and spreading out the less-cooked center ones. Bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to the large bowl from the initial steps, then mix in the dried cranberries and mango until evenly combined. Let cool. Store in a glass jar, plastic container, or plastic bag. 

I love anything sweet with a hint of spice, and these sweet and spicy cornmeal cookies certainly have a kick to them. These cornmeal cookies are a new take on the classic slice and bake cookie once you whip up the super simple dough, shape it into logs, brush the edges in egg wash, and roll them in a mix of cayenne + turbinado sugar.

This dough is very flexible and goes well with different add-ins and flavors. I have used it for holiday cornmeal cookies as well. Feel free to experiment!

Not only does the cayenne add a dose of spice, but its beautiful red color augments the cornmeal’s brilliant yellow. These cornmeal cookies are a melange of flavors. Give these sweet and spicy cornmeal cookies a try when you are looking to brighten and spice up your day. 

for the dough

  • ¾ cup butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • Pinch of salt

For rolling the edges

Mix the flour, cornmeal, and salt in a medium-sized bowl and set aside. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and 1 egg and mix until combined. Slowly add in the dry ingredients while continuing to mix. Divide the dough in two and wrap separately in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Beat the remaining egg and water and set aside. Mix together the turbinado sugar and cayenne pepper in a rectangular dish or shallow dish that the logs of dough can fit into. Brush the edges of the dough logs with egg wash then roll them in the turbinado/cayenne mixture until the edges are evenly coated.

Slice the cookies ⅓ – ½ inch and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 11-12 minutes until the edges begin to brown.