Sweet and Spicy Cowboy Candy recipe, a.k.a. Candied Jalapeños. Add a layer to cream cheese to make a quick and easy Christmas appetizer Recipes. Spicy jalapeño rings are marinated in a sweet simple syrup to create a flavorful and versatile condiment.
We LOVE our jalapeño recipes here at Foodie and Wine. One of our long time reader favorites is our Pickled Peppers Recipe and last week we posted the recipe to our beloved Cranberry Jalapeno Dip. Next up is a classic we’ve been making for over 20 years – Sweet and Spicy Cowboy Candy Jalapeños, better known as Candied Jalapeños.
What is Cowboy Candy?
Cowboy Candy is something special. Spicy jalapeno peppers are marinated in a sweet sugar glaze to create a powerhouse condiment. The jalapeños soften, yet retain their heat, which is balanced by the sugar-based glaze. This recipe is considered a small batch Cowboy Candy, but you can easily double or tripe to make large batch Cowboy Candy. Many of the ingredients you may already have on-hand if you’re into pickling recipes.
Cowboy Candy Uses
This candied fruit recipe can be utilized in many different ways. Here are a few of my favorites:
Candied Jalapeno Dip
Dump a jar out over cream cheese and serve with crackers and bread. You could also serve it with pickled peaches. The combo would be amazing.
Add them to your favorite baked beans recipe (our favorite – Slow Cooker Refried Beans )
Sandwiches and Hamburgers
Two words: Grilled Cheese.
If you’ve ever looked up Cowboy Candy for sale, you’ll know it’s not cheap. One popular brand on Amazon charges $12 per jar! This fruit candy recipe pencils to less than 25% of that and includes the exact same ingredients. Of course those jars are ready to eat upon delivery whereas making it from home requires some patience.
How To Make Cowboy Candy
A few tips to note before making this recipe:
Seeds in or seeds out? As with many jalapeno recipes, it’s up to you. It won’t affect the recipe other than the texture of the seeds.
Try and let your jars of cowboy candy develop for 3-4 weeks in the refrigerator before enjoying, if possible. You can absolutely wait just a week, but a good month really brings out the texture and flavor.
There are three options for slicing up the jalapeños. All options are great – it really comes down to how you like to work in the kitchen. I pick “easy to clean” over “quick” any day of the week, but you may be the opposite.
1. If you’re a long time reader you know I detest whipping out my Mandoline slicer. Using it is great, but cleaning it in a safe way is a a hassle. But it works really well here.
2. Add the peppers, one at a time, through the feed chute of your food processor.
3. Whip out some gloves and cut them by hand with a sharp knife. I actually prefer this method. Sure it’s tedious but it’s less “stuff” to clean.
I’d love to hear how you’re planning on using Cowboy Candy! Leave a comment with your ideas and recommendations.
Next time you have a bunch of jalapeños and are asking yourself “What Can I Make With A Bunch of Jalapeños” think Cowboy Candy!
Cowboy Candy (a.k.a. Candied Jalapeños)
- 1 Lb Jalapeño Peppers
- 3 Cups White Sugar
- 1 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 tsp Granulated Garlic
- 1 tsp Chili Powder (*Note 1)
- 1/8 tsp Ground Turmeric Powder
- 1/8 tsp Celery Seeds
- Cut the jalapeño peppers into 1/8" round slices.
- In a large sauce pan, add the sugar, vinegar, garlic, chili powder, turmeric and celery seeds and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer until the sugar mixture has a thick syrup consistency, approx. 5 minutes.
- Add the pepper slices to the sauce pan and toss to coat. Raise the heat to return to a hard boil. Once a rolling boil is achieved, immediately reduce the heat again and simmer for 4 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the jalapeños to clean canning jars. Leave about 1/4" of space at the top.
- Reduce the syrup, one last time, by bring it to a full rolling boil for 5 minutes.
- Ladle the syrup over the jalapeños until the syrup reaches about 1/4" from the top.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. Let the jalapeños marinate for a minimum of one week, before enjoying. (*Note 2)