Sweet with spice, and everything nice. This condiment has it all. It is one of the most high-in-demand canned goods that I make (the other being pickled jalapeno slices). You can pop the candied jalapenos right into the refrigerator if you intend to gobble them up quickly, or water bath can them for shelf stability – I provide directions for both options below. I do not include this recipe in either of my cookbooks (Can It & Ferment It or WECK Small-Batch Preserving), so I’m sharing my version here.
I first made this recipe about 6 years ago and of course I cannot find the recipe I used anywhere. I have scanned all my preserving cookbooks and looked all over the internet, and the closest recipe I found to the original I made is written by Rebecca Lindamood. I tweaked her recipe quite a bit, so I am sharing the recipe with my adjustments incorporated. Enjoy!
Candied Jalapenos AKA Cowboy Candy
Yield: about 6-7 jelly jars (8 oz jars)
16 cups sliced jalapenos (about 3 pounds whole jalapenos)
1.5 cups apple cider vinegar (organic)
4 cups organic or non-GMO sugar
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric powder
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1 tbsp. granulated garlic powder
Wash jalapenos, remove stems (discard). Slice jalapeno peppers 1/4-1/8″ thick, and collect them in a large bowl. In a nonreactive pot, bring the syrup ingredients together and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and stir until all of the sugar has dissolved. Carefully add all jalapeno slices to the syrup, stir together, and turn heat back up to a boil. Boil for a minimum of 5 minutes. I prefer to “over-cook” my jalapenos until they begin to shrivel (this can take 15+ minutes). Determine length of cook time based upon your personal preference. I like the jalapenos shriveled a bit because I prefer the texture that way.
IF YOU HAVE EXPERIENCE WITH WATER BATH CANNING, FOLLOW THESE DIRECTIONS: Ladle the hot syrup and pepper slices into warm, prepared canning jars, leaving 1/4″ head space. I find it easiest to attempt to scoop mostly jalapeno slices into the jars (a slotted spoon can be useful here), and then go back and top off syrup where needed (that way you avoid a jar of syrup with few slices). Use a stainless steel butter knife or other clean tool to remove any air bubbles trapped within the peppers and the side of the jar. As the syrup settles, you may need to add in more syrup.
Wipe the rims of the jars with a dampened, clean, lint-free cloth or paper towel and again with a dry towel. Place the lid with sealing compound side down, in place over the rim of each jar and carefully twist the canning ring on the jar until it’s just-snug on the jar. Process in the boiling water bath for 10 minutes (15 minutes if using pint jars instead). Carefully remove the jars from the water bath with the canning tongs and place jars on a towel-lined surface for 12 hours without touching.
Store in the refrigerator after breaking the seal.
**If you do not have experience with canning, I fully explain the method in Can It & Ferment It. Or, you can skip the hot water bath canning step and fill jars with the jalapenos and syrup, cover with lid and ring and allow the jars to cool on a towel-lined surface. Once cooled, store in the refrigerator and eat within 2 months.
I serve this condiment with crackers and goat cheese. Though, these jalapenos are a good addition to just about anything you can dream up. 🙂
Feel free to message me with any questions.