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


  • 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)


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.


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