SPAT from Chocolatesmith
Piñon gets a fancy treatment in these tasty caramels ($12.00 for 4), which start with pan toasted tamari piñon. The nuts sit on a bed of buttery handmade caramel, all dipped in dark chocolate. What does "SPAT" stand for? After (wrongly) believing for many weeks that it was Square Piñon And Tamari, it's actually named for its resemblance to shoe spats.
Chocolatesmith851 Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe, NM 87505 (map) (505) 473-2111; chocolatesmith.com
Piñon Brittle from C.G. Higgins
Warning: you may never eat peanut brittle again after sampling piñon brittle! This crunchy stuff is punctuated by tasty piñon nuts which add a mellow and totally rich flavor. They don't overpower the candy coating, though, so you really get an interesting, nuanced flavor.
C.G. Higgins847 Ninita Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501 (map) (505) 820-1315; cghiggins.com
Chocolate Decadence Topped with Caramel and Piñon from Kakawa Chocolate House
If a deep, dark, fudgy chocolate cake is your style, you should run, not walk, to Kakawa Chocolate House to sample this dessert. Their chocolate decadence cake is a miracle in its own right, but it gets even better with a generous, buttery caramel coating, which is beautifully complemented by piñon.
Kakawa Chocolate House1050 East Paseo de Peralta, Santa Fe, NM 87501 (map) (505) 982-0388; kakawachocolates.com
Chocolate Piñon Cookies from Chocolate Maven Bakery & Cafe
These cookies ($6.50 for a box) don't look particularly remarkable. But one bite will prove to you that they're something very special. Toasty piñon is added liberally to the chocolate cookie dough. Once baked, that buttery, singular piñon flavor scents every chocolatey bite, making for a crunchy-buttery and very memorable cookie experience.
Atolé Piñon Hotcakes at Tecolote Cafe
These salad plate-sized pancakes ($4.60 each) are perfectly fluffy while also managing to be fat and substantial. Atolé (blue corn), a common ingredient in New Mexico, adds a wonderful nuttiness to the pancake, which is generously studded with piñon which all but evaporates in a delicious puff when bitten into. It's the type of pancake that makes you want more, but really, one is quite enough.
Pumpkin Piñon Bread from Intergalactic Bread Company
For a lightly sweet treat, check out the inimitable Pumpkin Piñon flatbread by Intergalactic Bread Company. Available at the Saturday version of the Santa Fe Farmer's Market, this bread is like the best-textured pizza crust you've ever had, but instead of having cheese and sauce on top, it's got a lightly sweet pumpkin topping and a generous smattering of piñon, which gives it a decadent and rich flavor.