What is Cowboy Candy?
Cowboy candy is candied jalapeños. Sweet, sour, spicy….and now smoky, too! It is more addicting than crack. For reals. Just ask anyone who has tried it.
It is a staple in the canning community and very popular as gifts during Christmas, due to the festive red and green peppers and delicious flavor.
Cowboy Candy is typically made with vinegar, sugar, and spices. Most recipes include turmeric, but this recipe has no turmeric. We didn’t have any on hand and we did not miss it one bit!
How Do I Eat Cowboy Candy?
Cowboy Candy is eaten straight out of the jar, on crackers or bagels with cream cheese, on salads, on meat dishes…basically, you find any excuse to eat these!
Your family and friends are seriously going to love you for making this. But, be prepared for CONSTANT requests to make these!
How to Make Cowboy Candy
You’ll need red and green jalapeños. Now, the red and green aren’t necessary and you can do either/or, but the 2 colors really make it pretty, especially if these are being made for holiday gifts.
You’ll also need vinegar, sugar, and some spices: garlic powder, cumin, cayenne, celery seed, and smoked paprika.
First, you make the syrup. Add everything to a pot except the peppers and heat to a boil, then simmer.
Add the peppers then simmer.
Put peppers in hot jars, then top off with syrup. You WILL have leftover syrup. DO NOT WASTE IT! Pour the syrup in jars, too. It is liquid gold! Remember what I said above? There are lots of uses for the leftover syrup.
Now all that’s left is to water bath can your candied jalapeños. This is one of those foods that the longer they sit in the jar, the more the flavors develop. We try not to open them for a couple of weeks. ‘Try’ being the operative word.
We highly recommend you double or even triple the recipe. You’ll find out why after you make these.
Tropical Cowboy Candy with Pineapple Variation
If you’re in the mood for a more tropical taste (or Cowgirl Candy) all you do is simply add some pineapple chunks (fresh or canned without the juice) to the bottom of the jar before filling them with your peppers and syrup! Add as many or little as you want. Processing time and headspace remains the same.
Smoky Cowboy Candy (Candied Jalapeños) Canning Recipe
- 3 lbs jalapeños sliced
- 2 cups vinegar (can use apple cider or white)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cayenne
- 1/2 tsp celery seed
- 6 cups sugar
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- In a large pot, bring syrup ingredients to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add peppers to pot and simmer for 4 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, scoop peppers into jars, leaving 1/4" headspace.
- Pour syrup into jars, leaving 1/4" headspace. Fill empty jars with any leftover syrup you have, also leaving 1/4" headspace. Wipe rims of jars clean with a damp cloth and put on lids and bands (only finger tight - do not overtighten).
- Place jars in prepared water bath canner filled with enough hot water to cover the jars by 2 inches. When the water reaches full rolling boil, start the timer. Water bath can half-pints for 10 minutes, or pint jars for 15 minutes.
- Turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Remove pot lid and carefully remove jars - set them on a towel on your kitchen counter. Let sit overnight or until completely cooled.
|Altitude (in feet)||Increase Processing Time|
|1,001 - 3,000||5 minutes|
|3,001 - 6,000||10 minutes|
|6,001 - 8,000||15 minutes|
|8,001 - 10,000||20 minutes|