This crunchy topping gets a delicately spicy flavor from chili powder and cloves. Prep and Cook Time: 30 minutes. Notes: Though this recipe isn't difficult, it does require vigilance. When cooking the sugar, be sure to stir constantly—it can burn easily. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
3/4 cup shelled piñon or pine nuts (see Notes for hot fudge piñon sauce, at far left)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
How to Make It
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and grease paper well.
In a small frying pan over low heat, toast nuts until they turn light golden brown, 7 to 10 minutes.
In a nonstick frying pan over medium heat, combine sugar, chili powder, cloves, and salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and dark brown. If mixture is darkening too quickly, remove from heat, stir well, then return to heat. When sugar is entirely melted, stir in nuts.
Quickly pour mixture onto parchment paper and spread 1/8 to 1/4 in. thick. Let cool until hard, then break into pieces.
With a Measure of Grace: The Story and Recipes of a Small Town Restaurant; Hell's Backbone Grill, Boulder, Utah