Sunday, July 26, 2020

Cowboy Candy - Candied Pickled Jalapenos

Sliced fresh jalapenos, lightly blanched, then stacked in a quart jar with sliced garlic and brined in an apple cider vinegar and sugar brine.
Sliced fresh jalapenos, lightly blanched, then stacked in a quart jar with sliced garlic and brined in an apple cider vinegar and sugar brine.

Cowboy Candy - Candied Pickled Jalapenos

I used to grow lots of vegetables, including sweet and hot peppers, but haven't grown any in quite a bit. Haven't really grown much of anything other than tomatoes, and maybe a few herbs here the past few years. Just can't take the heat enough to keep the garden in good shape. But, peppers are in abundance and pretty cheap during the summer months, so you don't have to be a gardener to grab a bunch!

This is a variation of a Bell's Best cookbook recipe from the 70s that uses both sweet and hot peppers, but primarily sweet peppers. I decided to make it using only jalapenos. It's often referred to as Cowboy Candy across the net, but it's simply a pickled jalapeno that's a little bit heavier on the sugar, and somewhere along the line of those candied Fire 'n Ice pickles, we all love so much.
As always, full recipe text with measurements and instructions, as well as a printable document, are a little bit further down the page. Just swipe or scroll past the step-by-step pictures below
The recipe calls for quickly blanching the peppers in boiling water twice, rather than boiling them steady as a lot of folks do, so I still do it that way. I use pickled jalapenos in a lot of recipes that use sweet bell peppers, so I'll go through them in due time, but with about one pound of jalapenos, it should make right at about a quart. Just stuff the sliced peppers into a quart sized jar to store in the fridge, unless you prefer to can them in smaller half pint or pint jars to make them shelf-stable.

Once you pour over the hot vinegar and sugar, let the jar rest at room temperature until it cools before putting it in your fridge, turning it over and gently shake it a few times to shift the contents around a bit. You really need to let these jalapenos pickle in the fridge for a few days, if you can manage to stay out of them, as they really need 3 or 4 days to fully develop their flavor.

A word of advice. Handle the peppers with food quality disposable kitchen gloves {affil link}, or I guarantee you, if you are anything like me, you will eventually rub your eye or lips and regret it. Depending on the heat level you want, shake off some of the seeds as you slice them too. Use your fan vent, because the jalapenos will send off some fumes too as they soak that can be a bit irritating, similar to a big pot of boiling crabs indoors!

Now that all the warnings are out of the way, let's make some candied jalapenos!

Bring 2 cups of the water to a boil. Remove from heat, add sliced jalapenos, stir and let sit for 10 minutes. Return pot to the heat, bring back up to a boil, remove and let sit for 10 minutes longer. 


Thinly sliced 2 garlic cloves.

Let cool slightly and pack slices into a quart sized jar, layering in the slices of garlic as you fill; set aside.

Add the remaining 1/2 cup of water with the vinegar, salt, sugar and spices to the pot; bring to a boil until sugar is fully dissolved. 

Slowly pour the hot liquid over the jalapeno slices and let the jar rest until cooled to room temperature, turning the jar periodically to shift the contents. Refrigerate, turning occasionally for up to 4 days before consuming.

Deliciousness! Use them on sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, nachos, really pretty much everywhere that you would use regular pickled jalapenos.

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Posted by on July 26, 2020
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