Cowboy Candy (Candied Jalapeños)

December 31, 2020 || By: Hope F

Ready for a whole new spin on jalapeños? Get ready for Uncle Jerry’s Cowboy Candy! This is a must have for any and every occasion, whether on a charcuterie board with bread/crackers and brie, or on a slice of pizza, or glazed on salmon or any other smoked meat. This special treat can go on basically anything you can think of, and your food experience will never be the same… This recipe is adapted from Tasty Kitchen.

Recipe: Prep Time – 1 hour 45 min, Canning/Jarring Time – 2 weeks (I promise it is worth the wait)


  • Sharp Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Big Colander (to wash jalapeños)
  • Stock Pots (cooking the jalapeños)
  • Funnel
  • 16oz Jars (9 or more)
  • Measuring Cup
  • GLOVES (you NEED these for cutting your jalapeños)
  • Big Pot – for canning
  • Big Slotted Spoon
  • Towels or a Rack


  • 3 Pounds Firm, Fresh Jalapeño Peppers (Washed)
  • 2 cups Apple Cider Vinegar (Bragg’s, Organic, Raw, Unfiltered)
  • 6 cups White Granulated Sugar
  • 1 cups Brown Sugar (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon Celery Seed
  • 3 teaspoons Granulated Garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cayenne Pepper

How to make:

  1. First, make sure that you are wearing a pair of disposable gloves (and make sure you have a lot of extras). Lay out a cutting board/sharp knife, paper towels, and a big bowl, all on your table.
  1. Then wash your jalapeños, very well (and make sure that your jalapeños aren’t mushy). Set them aside for the moment.
  2. Prepare your big pots that are on the stove. Put the apple cider vinegar, white granulated sugar, brown sugar (optional), turmeric, celery seed, granulated garlic, and ground cayenne pepper into your pots.
  1. Stir this mixture and put on medium heat. Continue stirring every now and then.
  2. While the mixture is on the stove, you want to start cutting your jalapeños. Cut off the stems (throw them in the trash) and cut the jalapeños in small pieces (1/8-1/4″ thick). Every now and then, clear your cutting board and put the chopped jalapeños into your slotted bowl. To do all of the jalapeños, this took around an hour.
  1. When the slotted bowl is filled up with jalapeños, you want to rinse them off in the sink (making sure to get rid of some – but not all of – the seeds, or else it would be too hot).
  1. Once rinsed, put the jalapeños into one of the pots and mix them around with the sugar mix.
  1. Depending on how many of the big pots you have (we had 3), you’ll want to repeat this process.
  2. Once all the jalapeños are in the pots, turn up the heat to a boil, then turn heat to med/low and cook it until the jalapeños are soft and olive green (about 5 minutes). Keep mixing every now and then.
  3. To prepare for putting the jalapeño mixture into the jars, put a towel or some guard over the countertop since the turmeric will stain your counter!
  4. Line the jars up on the towel, and put a funnel over the closest jar.
  1. You’ll know that the jalapeño mixture is ready to go into the jars when the jalapeños have turned from a bright green, to an olive green. They will also be softer.
  1. Next, you’ll want to scoop the candy mix into the jar with the slotted spoon, you’ll want to press it down to really pack it into the jar. Then you want to pour some of the juice to the rim.
  1. Once the jar is filled, you want to wipe the edge of the jar with a wet paper towel, then put the lid on it and set it aside.
  2. Repeat the filling/sealing of the jars until all of them are filled/all the jalapeños are gone.
  3. Then, rinse the jars under some running water to get any extra sugar off.
  4. Next, you’ll want to use one of the big pots (the one you didn’t use for the mixture) and fill it with boiling water.
  5. Put the jars into the pot and make sure that they are at least an inch covered with the water.
  6. You want pot with the jars to be on a roiling boil for 10-15 minutes. Make sure the water is at least 1″ above the jars (higher than shown in the picture here.)
  1. Lastly, you’ll want to pull the jars out and put them on a towel or rack. In a time span of a few hours, you’ll hear them softly “pop” and that’s how you know that they are sealed. Then let the jars sit for 2 weeks. I know that this is a long time, but trust me, it is DEFINITELY worth it.
  1. Make sure to shake the jars by gently turning them upside down and back again every other day to keep the mixture even.


  • Put in the refrigerator after opening

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