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Monday, February 10, 2020

Cowboy Candy ... AKA Candied Jalapeños

Cowboy Candy is a sweet and spicy treat made with candied jalapeños. Here is a simple recipe you can use to make these tasty treats for desserts, snacking, etc. Use these pepper rings to top cornbread, chop them up and add them to cream cheese for a delicious spread, garnish cocktails, or just snack on them. Basically, the jalapeños are preserved in a simple seasoned syrup and stored in the refrigerator, or processed in water bath.

  • ½ kilo of fresh jalapeño chili peppers (that about 1.1 pounds for you U.S. folks that still can't use the metric system, or 6-8 peppers)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • First, clean the jar(s) you will use to store the Cowboy Candy. This recipe will yield about 3½ cups of candied jalapeños.
  • Second, put on a pair of gloves to protect your skin from the oils in the jalapeños.
  • Slice the jalapeno peppers crosswise into 6 mm thick rings (¼ inch). You can remove the seeds if you like a milder treat, but I don't. Set them aside while you make the syrup.
  • Mix together the sugar, vinegar and all the seasonings in a pan. Bring the mixture to a quick boil, and reduce the heat to a low simmer until the sugar dissolves into a thick syrup.
  • Add the jalapeno rings and mix to evenly coat them with the syrup, and bring it back to a low simmer.
  • Simmer the jalapeños in the syrup for about 4-5 minutes. They will darken just a bit as they cook slightly and soak up some of the sugar syrup.
  • Transfer the candied jalapeno peppers into the cleaned jar(s), then fill the jar(s) with the remaining syrup. This time we just used a single one quart mason jar for the whole batch and the recipe didn't quite fill the jar.
  • Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 or 4 months. You can eat them right away, but if you chill them in the refrigerator for a week, or so, the flavors will develop and just get better.
  • You can also use a canning process with a water bath to store them for a year or more. (Click here to learn how.)

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