Monday, August 3, 2020

Cowboy Candy/Candied Jalapeños

     Have you ever tasted Cowboy Candy?  If you haven't and can find someone who makes it, you are in for a treat!  We had never even heard of it until my friend, Mariann, brought us a jar and suggested we try it on top of crackers spread with cream cheese.  We devoured those tasty little morsels in record time!  And then we shamelessly hinted we would love more.  She brought us another jar.  And then last week she asked if I would like jalapeños to make my own.  She brought me 1 1/2 lbs which her husband had sliced for me before he sent them--what a guy! She also brought the recipe.  I cut the recipe which calls for 3 lb. in half and made 4 (1/2 pints) of this delicious little appetizer!
    Another friend called Saturday to ask if I would like some jalapeños.  Of course, I replied with an enthusiastic "yes"!  Before my introduction to cowboy candy, I would have had no idea what to do with so many.  But now I am accumulating all I can get.  Today I made more candy with the 3+ lbs Sharon gave me and the 1/2 lb I already had.
    Here's a photo of the treasure before and after I sliced them.

I also added a few little sweet peppers for color.  The result of my labor.

Here's the recipe, if you are tempted to make some on your own.  You can find several recipes online.  This one is the one that Mariann uses.  I don't know where she got it, but I copied the same recipe she brought me from this site: which has interesting commentary also.

Cowboy Candy
  • 3 pounds fresh firm, jalapeno peppers, washed
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 6 cups white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 3 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper


  • Wearing gloves, remove the stems from all of the jalapeno peppers. The easiest way to do this is to slice a small disc off of the stem-end along with the stem. Discard the stems.
  • Slice the peppers into uniform 1/8-1/4 inch rounds. Set aside.
  • In a large pot, bring cider vinegar, white sugar, turmeric, celery seed, granulated garlic and cayenne pepper to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Raise the heat to boiling again, add the pepper slices, return to a hard boil, then reduce the heat again and simmer for exactly 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the peppers, loading into clean, sterile canning jars to within 1/4 inch of the upper rim of the jar. Turn heat up under the pot with the syrup and bring to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for 6 minutes.
  • Use a ladle to pour the boiling syrup into the jars over the jalapeno slices. Insert a cooking chopstick to the bottom of the jar two or three times to release any trapped pockets of air. Adjust the level of the syrup if necessary. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp paper towel and fix on new, two-piece lids to finger-tip tightness.
  • *If you have leftover syrup, and it is likely that you will, you may can it in half-pint or pint jars, too. It’s wonderful brushed on meat on the grill or added to potato salad or, or, or… In short, don’t toss it out!
  • Place jars in a canner, cover with water by 2-inches. Bring the water to a full rolling boil. When it reaches a full rolling boil, set the timer for 10 minutes for half-pints or 15 minutes for pints. When timer goes off, use canning tongs to transfer the jars to a cooling rack. Leave them to cool, undisturbed, for 24 hours. When fully cooled, wipe them with a clean, damp washcloth then label.
  • Allow to mellow for at least two weeks, but preferably a month before eating. Or don’t. I won’t tell!

The recipe makes 3 pint jars + almost 1/2 pint. 

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