There are recipes all over the internet for something called “Cowboy Candy”. This recipe is pretty much the same thing – it’s just that I’m a lady, I’m the one who makes these, and I love these sweet and spicy jalapenos.
So, y’know, that makes them Cowgirl Candy in my books.
Cowgirl Candy is delicious in nachos, on burgers, on their own, with cream cheese on a cracker, on their own, in soups or casseroles, on their own.. you can find plenty of uses for them if you like spicy sweet foods. It is not actually candy. This will not fool your kids.
This recipe makes approximately 7 (250mL) jars of candy, depending how tightly you pack ’em, and will also leave you with approximately one jar of delicious jalapeno syrup to add to mashed potatoes, swirl into your quinoa bake, or to use as a marinade for meat. As you can see (sorta’) in the photo, I don’t pack them very tightly – I like each jar to have a bit of extra syrup in there – but that means the peppers will float a bit.
3 pounds jalapeno peppers, washed
2 cups cider vinegar
6 cups granulated sugar
½ teaspoons turmeric
½ teaspoons celery seed
3 teaspoons granulated garlic
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- I highly recommend that you wear gloves while working with any hot peppers – but I can’t force you to be sensible.
- Slice off the stems and tips from all of the peppers. Toss these into your compost bucket.
- Slice the peppers into uniform 1/4 inch rounds. I like to use my mandoline because I enjoy taking my life into my own hands around sharp blades. Also, it makes the slices very neat and tidy. But you can totally do this with a knife. Set the pepper slices aside.
- In a large pot, combine the cider vinegar, sugar, turmeric, celery seed, granulated garlic, and cayenne pepper. Over medium-high heat, bring this mixture to a boil while stirring.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the pepper slices and simmer for exactly 4 minutes. For real. Time it. You don’t want them to get mushy and they’re going to get softer later when you process them.
- Use a slotted spoon and transfer the peppers into clean jars. Fill to about 1/4 inch line and pack them as tightly as you want them to be.
- Turn heat up in the pot and bring the syrup to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for 6 minutes. Time it. For real!
- Spoon or pour or ladle the boiling syrup into the jars – covering the pepper slices. Fill each jar to the 1/4 inch line.
- If you want to keep a jar or two of syrup, fill those up too!
- Wipe the rims of the jars with a damp paper towel – get all the goopy sticky seeds and whatnot off.
- Put on your lids and bands. Process for the usual 10-15 minutes (depending on your altitude)
- Set aside to cool overnight and look for the happy ping’ed lids that mean everything has sealed up properly. If they haven’t sealed, put the jars in the fridge and eat ’em soon (I recommend nachos.)