Popular in Mexican cooking, piloncillo is unrefined cane sugar shaped into truncated cones that can range in size from about 1 ounce to about 7 ounces. Piloncillo can range in color from light to mahogany brownthe darker the color, the stronger the molasses flavor. The same sugar formed into a rounded loaf is called , and rounds or squares of coarser, darker sugar are called panocha. All forms are very hard and should either be chopped by hand (a food processor might break) or dissolved in the liquid called for in the recipe. Piloncillo can be found in Latin markets and some supermarkets.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.