This candy recipe makes good use of the syrup created as a byproduct when making candied chiles. Depending on the chiles used, the syrup can get pretty hot. Typically it has a consistency somewhere between corn syrup and molasses and looks clear, lightly tinted.
1/2 cup chile syrup
1/2 cup butter (125 grams)
2 oz. (60 grams) pecans, walnuts or almonds, chopped
Butter a baking sheet or a piece of parchment paper. Cover an area as large as a letter size page with the chopped nuts and set aside.
In a microwaveable cup, cautiously warm butter so it just melts to a liquid stage.
Put syrup in a one quart saucepan. Place over high heat and stir with a wooden spoon until it comes to a boil. Continue stirring until the syrup begins to thicken and turns a little darker. Insert a candy thermometer if available.
Slowly pour the butter into the saucepan, keep stirring.
Attention: This stuff is getting very hot, and if working on a ceramic stovetop, be sure not to splash any of the sugar.
Keep at a bubbly boil and keep on stirring—ignore phone calls and the door bell, this stuff burns easily!
Remove from heat when the candy thermometer indicates what candymakers call soft-crack stage, about 270°F, or if the mixture changes its color to light brown, whatever comes first (any longer, and the mix will burn).
Pour over the chopped nuts and let cool for a couple of hours (optionally, spread chopped nuts also on top, after about 15 minutes).
Crack into 1/2" pieces, store in airtight container and enjoy!
At lower temperatures, the candies would stay chewy. But as I don't want to pull my crowns, I prefer mine crunchy...Of course there are plenty of toffee and caramel recipes around - just experiment, using your spicy chile syrup instead of corn syrup and sugar.