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Sweet and Spicy Cowboy Candy (a.k.a Candied Jalapenos)

Sweet and Spicy Cowboy Candy (a.k.a Candied Jalapenos)

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.

White plate topped with cream cheese and cowboy candy. Jar full of candied jalapenos and crackers next to it.

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.

Baked Beans 

Add them to your favorite baked beans recipe (our favorite – Slow Cooker Refried Beans )

Grilled Meat

Marinate and/or top your favorite beef recipes and pork recipes with these bad boys. Think how amazing this sweet and spicy  glaze would be on chicken wing recipes

Sandwiches and Hamburgers

Two words: Grilled Cheese.

Cocktail Garnish

These would be awesome on top of a Mango Michelada or Michelada

 

Three crackers on a white plate topped with cream cheese and cowboy candy.

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! 

White plate topped with cream cheese and cowboy candy. Jar full of candied jalapenos and crackers next to it.
Print Recipe
5 from 15 votes

Cowboy Candy (a.k.a. Candied Jalapeños)

Make this sweet and spicy Cowboy Candy recipe, a.k.a. Candied Jalapeños, to make the best cream cheese dip for your holiday gathering. Spicy jalapeño rings are marinated in a sweet simple syrup. Top your sandwiches, burgers and nachos with this flavorful and versatile condiment.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Condiments
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Canned Recipes, Christmas Appetizer, Dip Recipe, Holiday Appetizer, Jalapeno Recipes, Mason Jar Recipes, Spicy Recipes
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 314kcal
Author: Darcey Olson
Cost: $5

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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)

Notes

Note 1 - Chili Powder is optional. Most of the major cowboy candy producers includes this ingredient in their recipes, but feel free to omit.
Note 2- 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.
Try subbing in smoked cream cheese in place of plain cream cheese for an added kick.

Nutrition

Calories: 314kcal | Carbohydrates: 79g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 4mg | Potassium: 167mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 77g | Vitamin A: 611IU | Vitamin C: 67mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg

 

Recipe Rating




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Shelley

Wednesday 17th of August 2022

I pour the extra sauce over my cornbread or my biscuits. Oh my goodness!!!! I could eat this stuff on anything anytime!! I can't get enough of it!!!

Cathy Stephens

Tuesday 16th of August 2022

Can you use jalapeños from a jar for this recipe?

Rose McCreary

Friday 12th of August 2022

I want to make this this weekend, but I wanted to ask how will a jar of it will last in the frig w/o canning them? TYIA

Gigi

Thursday 4th of August 2022

Looking for this recipe, looks perfectly delicious! But before making it, I wondered how much it makes? Growing own peppers means sometimes I have a lb, sometimes 3 lbs ripen at the same time and I would just triple this recipe and throw them in the canner for shelf stability. But no idea how much each recipe makes? Two 4 ounce jars? Four 4 ounce jars? Two 8 ounce jars? Give me a hint please and thank you!

Gregg Kangas

Thursday 7th of July 2022

I've been making these for well over a year now, but I do 1-1 1/2 tsp celery seed 1/2 tsp garlic powder and 1/2 tsp of Cayenne powder. I am very curious to try the chili powder. last batch I made with a Agua chili twist, juice of 1 lime to the syrup and add 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro at the end. EVERYONE I give this to absolutely loves it and begs for the recipe. Can't wait to try your version! Thank you

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