These Candied Jalapenos are a delightful combination of sweet and spicy flavors, adding a unique twist to your favorite dishes and snacks.
Candied Jalapenos, also known as Cowboy Candy, have become a beloved treat for many. These delectable jalapenos are infused with the flavors of apple cider vinegar and various seasonings.
While some people enjoy adding these sweet and spicy jalapenos to their tacos, cocktails, or sandwiches, others prefer to savor them straight from the jar. It’s easy to see why they’re called Cowboy Candy—they’re incredibly addictive and as sweet as candy itself.
What makes this recipe truly remarkable is its versatility. By using different ingredients, you can adjust the taste, sweetness, and spiciness to your liking.
Whether you pluck fresh jalapenos from your garden or purchase them from the store, this recipe guarantees a mouthwatering result that’s hard to resist. A jar of these candied jalapenos won’t last long, so it’s wise to prepare several to have on hand. Trust me, you’ll be delighted that you did.
What is Cowboy Candy?
Cowboy Candy is also known as Candied Jalapenos and is a sweet and spicy treat made with jalapenos that are candied in a sugar and vinegar syrup. They are great for snacking or as a condiment.
Why You’ll Love Candied Jalapenos
- They are easy to make with simple and affordable ingredients!
- Are a great addition to any dish or drink!
- No special canning equipment required, just some mason jars!
- Versatile by adjusting the amount of sweetness and heat to your preference!
Candied Jalapenos Ingredients
- Apple cider vinegar
- Granulated sugar
- Sea salt
- Whole mustard seed
- Whole coriander seed
- Garlic powder
- Celery seed
Cowboy Candy Variations
While the traditional recipe includes jalapeños, sugar, and vinegar, there are several variations and adaptations you can do to customize the flavor. Here are a few variations of cowboy candy to try:
- Fruit-infused cowboy candy: Add fruits like pineapple, mango, or peaches to the pickling liquid along with the jalapeños. This variation adds a sweet and tangy twist to the spicy peppers.
- Smoky cowboy candy: To give your cowboy candy a smoky flavor, you can add a teaspoon or two of liquid smoke to the pickling liquid. This imparts a delicious smokiness that complements the sweetness and heat.
- Berry cowboy candy: Instead of using just jalapeños, combine them with berries such as raspberries, blackberries, or strawberries. The combination of sweet and spicy flavors creates a unique and tasty treat.
- Garlic lover’s cowboy candy: If you’re a fan of garlic, you can add a few cloves of minced garlic to the pickling liquid. The garlic enhances the overall flavor profile and adds an extra layer of complexity.
How to Make Candied Jalapenos
Wearing gloves, wash and dry the jalapenos. Cut the stems off and slice into ¼” thick rounds.
In a medium pot, combine the vinegar, sugar, and all the spices. Heat over medium, stirring until all the sugar is dissolved.
Add the sliced jalapenos and return to the heat, cooking for 12-15 minutes until the jalapenos are soft and have started to absorb the sugar.
Strain the jalapenos into the prepared, clean glass jar using a slotted spoon, leaving the liquid in the pot. With a fine mesh strainer, remove most of seasonings if desired. Return the liquid to medium heat.
Cook for a further 7-10 minutes at a boil until the liquid has reduced by half and is a very thick syrup.
Pour the syrup over the jalapenos and place the lid on. Allow to cool before eating.
Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- To prevent any burning on your hands, wear gloves.
- To remove the seeds from the peppers, cut them in half lengthwise and then scrape out the seeds with a spoon.
- If you want a less spicy jalapeno, soak the peppers in 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water for about an hour before cooking.
- Be careful when cooking with sugar, as it can easily burn. Make sure to stir frequently.
How to Can Candied Jalapenos
If you’d like to can cowboy candy, follow this canning process to extend the shelf life.
- Fill and seal the jars: Fill the jars with cowboy candy and seal them tightly.
- Prepare the canner: Place the sealed jars in a canner and make sure they are covered with water by at least 2 inches.
- Bring the water to a boil: Heat the water in the canner until it reaches a full rolling boil.
- Set the timer: Once the water is boiling, set a timer for 10 minutes if you’re using half-pint jars, or 15 minutes for pint jars.
- Transfer the jars: When the timer goes off, carefully use canning tongs to transfer the jars from the canner to a cooling rack.
- Allow cooling: Leave the jars undisturbed on the cooling rack to cool for 24 hours.
- Clean and label: After the cooling period, wipe the jars with a clean, damp washcloth to remove any residue. Then, label the jars for easy identification.
- Store in the pantry: Once fully cooled and labeled, store the canned cowboy candy in a cool, dry pantry. They will remain fresh for up to a year.
Candied jalapenos will last about 2 weeks in the fridge.
Yes, you can freeze candied jalapenos in a freezer bag for up to 6 months.
You can use the leftover syrup in cocktails or as a sweetener for other dishes.
Jalapeños provide numerous health benefits thanks to their nutritional value and the active compound called capsaicin. Despite being low in calories, they are packed with essential vitamins (such as A, C, and K) and minerals like potassium. Their antioxidant properties combat oxidative stress, while capsaicin contributes to pain relief, assists in weight management, enhances heart health, aids digestion, and boosts the immune system.
Yes, they are from touching and eating. Use gloves when touching and be prepared when eating.
More Jalapeno Recipes
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1½ tsp sea salt
- ¾ tsp whole mustard seed
- ¾ tsp whole coriander seed
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp celery seed
- ¾ lb. jalapenos
- Wearing gloves, wash and dry the jalapenos. Cut the stems off and slice into ¼” thick rounds.
- In a medium pot, combine the vinegar, sugar, and all the spices. Heat over medium, stirring until all the sugar is dissolved.
- Add the sliced jalapenos and return to the heat, cooking for 12-15 minutes until the jalapenos are soft and have started to absorb the sugar.
- Strain the jalapenos into the prepared, clean glass jar using a slotted spoon, leaving the liquid in the pot. With a fine mesh strainer, remove most of seasonings if desired.
- Return the liquid to medium heat. Cook for a further 7-10 minutes at a boil until the liquid has reduced by half and is a very thick syrup.
- Pour the syrup over the jalapenos and place the lid on. Allow to cool before eating. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Nutritional facts are estimates and are provided as a courtesy to the reader. Please utilize your own brand nutritional values to double check against our estimates. Nutritional values are calculated via a third party. Changing ingredients, amounts or cooking technique will alter the estimated nutritional calculations.