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Candied Jalapenos – Cowboy Candy Recipe

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These Candied Jalapenos, otherwise known as Cowboy Candy, are such a great treat any time of the year! Candied jalepeños are a great way to use up all of those jalapeños from your garden next summer!

candied jalapenos in an opened jar with jars in backgroundPin

What is Cowboy Candy?

Candied jalapenos, aka cowboy candy, are basically sliced jalapeno peppers that are quickly blanched in a flavorful simple syrup.

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About Growing Jalapeño Peppers

Peppers plants are easy to grow. Either in your home garden, or even in large pots, they are foolproof, even if you have a black thumb!.

Peppers prefer hot, dry weather, and the flavor of the pepper will be hotter, the dryer the season is. Here is a helpful article regarding growing peppers.

Jarred cowboy candyPin

I usually plant about 30 mixed pepper plants. So by the end of September, even after picking all of the ripe ones all summer, I have about 1/2 a ton of jalapeños! Which is fine by me!

I make a plethora of salsas and pickled peppers! This recipe is very loosely based on my hot pepper relish, zucchini relish and sweet pickle relish.

What you need

  • sliced jalapenos
  • apple cider vinegar
  • white sugar
  • turmeric
  • celery seed
  • granulated garlic
  • ground cayenne pepper
Ingredients for candied jalapenos, sugar celery seed, vinegar, cayenne, garlic, turmeric.Pin

How to make it

Prepare jars, lids and bands. No need to use sterile canning jars since these peppers will be processed for over 10 minutes.

  1. Mix vinegar, sugar and spices, for brine in large pot. Bring to boil. Reduce and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, wash and drain jalapenos.
  3. Wear gloves to cut up this quantity of peppers! Slice peppers into uniform rings, about ¼ inch rounds. You can also use a mandolin or food processor for more even slices. (use the stem-end when slicing to make them easier to hold.)
  4. Add the peppers to brine and simmer for 4 minutes.
  5. Use a slotted spoon to load jalapenos into washed and sterilized pint jars or half pint jars. Leave 1/4 inch headspace (the space between the rim of the jar and the product).
  6. Once peppers are loaded into jars, turn heat up under the syrup again and boil hard for 6 more minutes. Ladle additional boiling syrup over top of peppers in jars, leaving the head space. Remove trapped pockets of air with a wooden or plastic chopstick or bubble removal tool.
  7. Wipe rims of jars with damp paper towel. Place two-piece lids, center lids and then screw on bands fingertip tight.
  8. Load jars in hot water bath canning pot with canning tongs. Make sure jars are covered with 2-inches of water above the jar. Process 15 minutes for pints.
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Always date and label jars before storing.

If you would prefer not to water bath can them, you can just put them in sterile jars and store them in the refrigerator for at least six months, if not longer.

You can remove the seeds if ribs if you would prefer a less hot pepper. Most of the heat lives in the seeds and ribs.

There are a few things that will make your life easier when canning fruits and vegetables.

The first is a good set of canning tools. The second is a large enough canning pot.

It is possible to use tools that you already have in your kitchen, but take my word for it, I have saved myself more burns since I bought the right tools!

candied jalapenos on white plate with silver spoonPin

Pro tips for success

  • Seeds and ribs can be removed for less hot peppers. Most of the heat lives in the seeds and ribs.
  • Use proper canning techniques when canning peppers to ensure food safety. Details above.
  • Do not cook the peppers too long, or they will get soggy.
  • Do not throw away extra brine! It is great in lots of different foods. Store it in a sterilized jar in the refrigerator. Add to sauces, stews, and chilies, and make spicy aioli for burgers, fish, and tacos. Brush fish, poultry, beef, or pork while cooking for an extra zip. 
  • Always wear gloves when cutting up large quantities of hot peppers.
  • Never touch your eyes, mouth or nose with gloves! It can cause serious irritation!
  • Any hot pepper can be used for candy, such as Hungarian wax, hot cherry, serrano, habanero, and more.
  • Some of the sugar and spices may fall out of the solution as the peppers sit in the pantry. This will not affect the flavor of the brine or the peppers.
  • This cowboy candy can be quick-canned. In other words, not processed in the water bath canner. Store in clean, sterilized jars. Let sit on the counter until room temperature, then store jars in the refrigerator for 3-6 months, if not longer.

Saving the Brine From Candied Jalapeños

Brine for canning in jar.Pin

DO NOT throw out the the remaining syrup!

Place it in a jar and use it in a variety ways! Brush it on meat, fish and poultry on the grill or roasted.

Make an aioli. Try it in coleslaw and potato salad or macaroni salads! Deviled eggs are great too. Anything you can think of!

It is amazing on these Cornish Game Hens, mixed with mayo to make a quick and tasty, spicy aioli or mixed with cream cheese or sour cream for a quick, tasty dip for veges! The possibilities are endless, really!

The worse part of this recipe? You have to try to keep everyone away from them for at least 2-3 months, if you can manage it, 4 is even better, so that they can age!

It’s torture, really, waiting for these babies to be ready to eat!

If you can’t wait, they are still tasty right after they are done. The flavor is just better with the wait.

In the meantime, do yourself a favor and buy a jar from your local grocer. They are readily available, but certainly not as good!

Recipes Using Cowboy Candy

Tools Needed to Make Cowboy Candy

Contains affiliate links, for full disclosure, see FTC Disclosure, here.

whole jar of candied jalapenosPin

Love Gardening? If you love growing your own produce, these posts are packed full of information about how to get that big harvest by the end of the season! Don’t miss our How to Start a Garden Series!

The first section is Planning Your Garden. Second is Preparing the Garden Site.

The third is Choosing Plants and Planting Your Garden. The fourth is Garden Maintenance.

The last is Harvesting a Garden and Preserving the Harvest, this article has over 100 FREE recipes for preserving your harvest!

I hope you like the post today for this Cowboy Candy Recipe! Do you can fresh produce in the fall? Leave me a comment below!

Enjoy! And have fun cooking!

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How to Can Candied Jalapenos

These Candied Jalapenos, otherwise known as Cowboy Candy, are such a great treat any time of the year! Candied jalepeños are a great way to use up all of those jalapeños from your garden next summer!
See Step by Step Photos Above!Most of our recipes have step by step photos and videos! Also helpful tips so that you can make it perfectly the first time and every time! Scroll up to see them!
4.94 from 30 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 7 half pints
Calories: 100kcal
Author: Beth Neels
Cost: $4

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Wash and drain peppers. Wear gloves to cut up this quantity of peppers!! Cut into 1/8 – 1/4" slices.
  • Add the vinegar, sugar and spices to a large stock pot.
  • Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the peppers and simmer for 4 minutes.
  • Use a slotted spoon to load jalapenos into washed and sterilized jars. Leave 1/4 inch head space. 
  • Once peppers are loaded into jars, turn heat up under the syrup again and boil hard for 6 more minutes.
  • Ladle additional syrup over top of peppers in jars, leaving the head space. 
  • Wipe edges of jars.
  • Place lids and bands on jars. Finger-tip tighten.
  • DO NOT throw out the the remaining syrup! Place it in a jar and use it in a variety ways! Aioli, brush it on meat, fish and poultry try it in cole slaw and potato or macaroni salads! Anything you can think of!
  • Place the jars in the canner with hot water in it. Bring to a full rolling boil. Boil for 10 minutes for half pints, 15 minutes for pints. Turn off burner and let stand in hot water for 5 more minutes. Then remove and leave stand on counter overnight.
  • The next day check for seal. If center of lid flexes up and down, they must be stored in the refrigerator. Place sealed jars in a cool, dry place.
  • Try to resist the temptation to open them for at least 2 months! I like waiting 3 for the flavors to develop! In the meantime, console yourself with the syrup!!
See all of my favorite tools and gift ideas on my New Amazon Store!Check out Binky’s Amazon Store!

Video

Notes

Jalapeños can range in heat from 2500-8000 Scoville units which is huge difference. These Candied Jalapeños can be really hot some years and not hot at all in other years.
Seeds and ribs can be removed from peppers so that are less hot. Most of the heat lives in the seeds and ribs.
There is no problem cooking the brine down more, just be aware that the more that you cook it down, the less you will have to fill the jars, so you may want to add a bit more of everything to ensure you have enough to leave the headspace that you need.
Having said that, the brine doesn’t really have to be thick. It is more for preserving the product and not used as a sauce.
Use proper canning techniques when canning peppers to ensure food safety. Details above.
Do not cook the peppers too long, or they will get soggy.
Brine can be cooked down more, before peppers are added, to thicken it more.
Do not throw away extra brine! It is great in lots of different foods. Add to sauces, stews and chilies, make spicy aioli for burgers, fish, tacos. Brush fish, poultry, beef or pork, while cooking for an extra zip. 
Always wear gloves when cutting up large quantities of hot peppers.
Never touch eyes, mouth or nose with gloves! Can cause serious irritation!
Some of the sugar and spices may fall out of solution as the peppers sit in the pantry. This will not affect the flavor of the brine, or the peppers. If you cook down the brine further, to make it thicker, that should reduce this.
This cowboy candy can be quick canned. Store in clean, sterilized jars. Let sit on counter until room temperature, then store jars in the refrigerator for 3-6 months, if not longer.
Any hot pepper can be used to candy, such as Hungarian wax, hot cherry, serrano, habanero, and more.

Nutrition

Calories: 100kcal | Carbohydrates: 127g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 11mg | Potassium: 485mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 121g | Vitamin A: 1855IU | Vitamin C: 192.3mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg
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This post may contain affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you go to the link and purchase something at no additional cost to you. See FTC Disclosure here.

Originally published January 23, 2018

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111 Comments

  1. I’ve canned sweet jalapeño peppers a handful of times and became concerned on your suggestion of cooking the brine longer to thicken if desired. Cooking of brine longer than standard recipes call for is dangerous because it lessens the acetic acid level in the vinegar used. Less acetic acid can lead to botulism. To double check, I googled my concern. The University of Minnesota Extension Service says: ” Make pickling brine according to recipe. Heat on the stove top to boiling just before needed. Don’t overcook the brine as overcooking can change the acetic acid level and lose its ability to keep stored pickles safe.”

  2. 5 stars
    This is wonderful!!! I started making poppers out of my peppers and had enough frozen for a year at a time. This year I wanted to try something new and found this recipe. I can’t tell you how glad my husband and I are about Cowboy Candy. I made extra juice and canned that as well in the water bath with the peppers. We use that on our grilled cheese sandwiches, pizzas and basically any thing we have for lunch or dinner. I leave in the veins and seeds for extra spice. Thank you for this recipe ❣️

    1. We’re so glad that you like it. We do the same thing with the juice. It make amazing aioli, grilled cheese, brush it on chicken and pork. Too yummy!

  3. Has anyone pressure canned this recipe ? If so what pressure and for how long? Any other shared details would be appreciated!

    1. We’ve done a lot of research on this and can’t find a reliable source for the answer. I assume the answer is yes, but can’t find it. If you have a pressure canner, remove the plug and use it as a water bath.

  4. 5 stars
    Hi! I am kind of new to canning and the question I always run into is the elevation. I’m not sure how to adjust time for my elevation. Is there a way to do this? My elevation is 4,549.

    1. For water bath canning, as a general rule, increase processing time 5 minutes, 1000-3000 ft. 10 minutes for 3000-6000 ft. 15 minutes 6000-8000 and 20 minutes 8000-10000 ft. I hope that helps.

  5. I made these last week, I filled the jars to a 1/4 inch headspace. We opened one tonight and it looks as if there’s no brine, is it normal for the brine to absorb? The smell and taste great.

      1. 5 stars
        first tried this recipe last year and it is amazing. this year I had a lot of brine left can I use it on another batch of cowboy candy?

        1. We add it to everything. Ketchup and mayonnaise are totally awesome. We even add it to deviled eggs, then top with a pepper. So good! Spicy Deviled Eggs. It would be ok to use it for more peppers though.

  6. Could I use some mini bell peppers in addition to the jalapeños to add color and reduce heat?

  7. I made these several years ago. The jars are sealed and on a shelf in a closet. How long should they last canned and sealed.

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