Monday, August 24, 2015

Cowboy Candy {Candied Jalapenos}

If you like pepper jelly served over cream cheese on crackers, you will love Cowboy Candy. The sugary sweet syrup/brine is the perfect complement to the heat of the jalapenos.

When my friend, Diane, at Canning and Cooking at Home made these, I knew I wanted to try it for myself. I have pickled jalapenos and made pepper jelly of all types, but Cowboy Candy was a first for me. So glad I tried it!

Tropical Cowboy Candy - for an awesome "twist" try adding 1/2 the can of the juice (about 1/2 cup) and all the tidbits from a 20 oz can of Dole Pineapple Tidbits.

Tropical Cowboy Candy with pineapple tidbits

Tropical Cowboy Candy with pineapple tidbits


3 lbs jalapenos, fresh and firm
2 cups distilled white vinegar (original recipe used cider vinegar)
**see here for using different vinegars
6 cups granulated sugar
1⁄2 tsp turmeric
1⁄2 tsp celery seed
3 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper

Wearing gloves if desired,  slice the stems from the jalapenos and discard. Slice the peppers into uniformed rounds about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick and set aside.

In a large pot, bring vinegar, white sugar, turmeric, celery seed, garlic and cayenne pepper to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the pepper  slices and simmer for 4 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, scoop peppers into canning jars leaving 1/4 inch head-space.

Turn heat up under the pot with the syrup and bring to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for 6 minutes.

Using a ladle, add the boiling syrup to the jars over the jalapeno slices, distributing it evenly between all the jars, leaving a 1/4-inch head-space. Use a small knife, or a plastic canning tool designed to remove air bubbles, and run it around the insides of the jars, moving it up and down to remove any air bubbles. Adjust the level of the syrup if necessary.

Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp paper towel and top jars with lids and bands.

Process jars in a boiling water bath 10 minutes for half-pints or 15 minutes for pints, adjusting for your altitude.

Transfer the jars to a dish cloth-covered space on your counter-top and let jars sit undisturbed for 24 hours.

Store in pantry up to one year. Refrigerate any opened jars.

Tropical Cowboy Candy - cook as above only add 1/2 the 20 oz can of pineapple juice to the brine (about 1/2 cup) and all the pineapple tidbits when you add the sliced jalapeno peppers to the brine to simmer 4 minutes. Proceed with the rest of the directions above.

Cooks note - Allow to mellow for at least two weeks, but preferably a month before eating. Save any extra syrup and "can it up" also for a real treat. Use it to baste on grilled meat, dress up a potato salad, and more.

Yield:  approx. 4-6  half-pints

Original recipe adapted from Caning and Cooking at Home and Foodie with Family


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