When I first learned how to make Candied Jalapeños, I had no idea that it would become a favorite recipe in the household.

Now, every year, I get asked if I would make a few extra jars to share with family and friends.

candied jalapeños
Every year we get asked to make a few extra jars of our Candied Jalapeños to share with family and friends.

If you have never heard of or have eaten what is also considered Cowboy Candy, let me explain.

Think about sliced jalapeño peppers that have been bathed in a sweet syrup and then canned for use throughout the year. The result, the perfect balance of sweet heat in every bite.

How To Serve

You can use the candied jalapeños as either a condiment or as part of an appetizer. We love to throw some on on hamburgers, hot dogs and cold cut sandwiches to give it a little sweet zing.

cowboy candy dip
Mix Cowboy Candy with softened cream cheese for a delicious party dip recipe!

However, we also love to serve it as part of a cheese and cracker tray appetizer. We will even mix it in with a little softened cream cheese or brie to give some flavor and interest to dips and spreads.

So every year, we now plant a total of 4 jalapeños plants to make sure that we have enough to eat fresh, make jalapeños poppers, chipotle peppers and of course, Cowboy Candy!

Now just as a reminder, these are “Candied” Jalapeños. And that of course that means that this recipe involves a lot of sugar.

slicing peppers
Be sure to wear gloves when you are slicing hot peppers!

We have not attempted to make this recipe using alternative sweeteners. It honestly just gets too busy around canning seasoning to experiment with a recipe that we love so much.

However, fortunately, you eat only small portions at a time, so a little splurging goes a long way.

Although I must warn you. You might find yourself eating a whole jar without even thinking about it. They are that addicting!

How to Make Candied Jalapeños

*Makes approximately 4 half pint jars

Ingredients

3 pounds fresh jalapenos, washed (about 8+ cups sliced)
2 cups apple cider vinegar
6 cups granulated sugar
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon celery seed
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

peppers in brine
Allow the syrup to come to a boil and then add the peppers.

Instructions

1. *Hint – Wear gloves during this step to prevent your hands from burning the rest of the day.   Remove stems from all of the jalapeños and slice into 1/8 to 1/4 inch rounds. Set aside.

2. In a large pot, bring the cider vinegar, sugar, turmeric, celery seed, garlic and cayenne pepper to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

3. Add the pepper slices and simmer for 5 minutes.

You can stop here and let the Candied Jalapeños cool and then store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months. Or continue on for canning instructions…

4. Use a slotted spoon, transfer the peppers into clean sterile canning jars leaving ¼ inch at the top of the jar.

canning candied jalapenos
Use a slotted spoon to pour the peppers into a sterilized canning jar.

5. Turn the heat up and bring the Cowboy Candy syrup to a full rolling boil. Boil for 6 minutes. Pour the syrup over the jalapeño peppers in the jars but still leaving ¼ inch from the top. Then, slide a plastic utensil down the inside of the jar to make sure there are no air pockets. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp cloth and place lids on the jars.

6. To complete the canning process place the jars in a large pot of hot water, covered by 2 inches. Bring the water to a full boil and boil for 10 minutes for half pints and 15 minutes for pints.

remove air bubbles
Slide a plastic utensil inside of the packed jars to release any air bubbles.

When the time is up transfer jars onto a thick towel to let cool. Leave them undisturbed for 24 hours.  Before storing, check to make sure that all lids have sealed by pressing on the center of the lid.  If the lid moves, place the jar in the refrigerator.  All sealed jars can be stored in a cool dark place for up to a year.

The Waiting Period

7. **Hardest part** Wait 2 weeks before you eat the candied jalapeños as the flavors need time to meld.  I know it will be difficult, but they are worth the wait!

Ideas for use:  Once you start eating these, you’ll find all sorts of places to sneak in this sweet, spicy, and tangy treat—sandwiches, potato salad, grilled meat, and pasta, and my favorite – as a topping to crackers and cheese, just to name a few.

Candied Jalapenos

Servings 4 half pints

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds fresh jalapenos washed (about 8+ cups sliced)
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 6 cups granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon celery seed
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. Remove stems from all of the jalapenos and slice into 1/8 to 1/4 inch rounds. Set aside. *Hint – Wear gloves during this step to prevent your hands from burning the rest of the day.
  2. In a large pot, bring the cider vinegar, sugar, turmeric, celery seed, garlic and cayenne pepper to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the pepper slices and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Use a slotted spoon, transfer the peppers into clean sterile canning jars leaving ¼ inch at the top of the jar.
  5. Turn up the heat and bring the syrup to a full rolling boil. Boil for 6 minutes. Pour the syrup over the jalapeños in the jars but still leaving ¼ inch from the top. Make sure there are no air pockets by sliding a plastic utensil down the inside of the jars. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp cloth and place lids on the jars.

  6. To complete the canning process place the jars in a large pot of hot water, covered by 2 inches. Bring the water to a full boil and boil for 10 minutes for half pints and 15 minutes for pints. When the time is up transfer jars onto a thick towel to let cool. Leave them undisturbed for 24 hours. Check to make sure that all lids have sealed by pressing on the center of the lid. If the lid moves, place the jar in the refrigerator. All sealed jars can be stored in a cool dark place for up to a year. Wait 2 weeks before you eat them.

Recipe Notes

Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms

How To Make Candied Jalapeños. The Famous Cowboy Candy Recipe!
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