Cowboy candy. This, in my most humble opinion, is the only way to preserve jalapeno peppers. In fact, I don’t think there’s a better way to preserve jalapenos other than this method.
There’s no record for when candied jalapenos became known as Cowboy Candy, and in truth it doesn’t really matter. What matters is how this products tastes, and I’m going to tell you, it’s fabulous. Absolutely true.
This deliciously sweet, yet slightly spicy, jalapeno pepper treat will become your most favored side and can be partnered with anything.
It is really that good.
How hot is this stuff?
One would think that the jalapeno pepper would cause this recipe to have a kick, but overall there’s more of a sweetness to it than anything else. A sweetness with a slight hint of a kick.
First and foremost, when handling a large quantity of hot peppers make sure to wear gloves. The gloves will protect your hands from being saturated with the natural oils found in the peppers, preventing them from burning.
Many individuals will shy away from making cowboy candy, afraid it will be to spicy for their stomach to handle. The spiciness of the pepper is present, but not in an overbearing burn the inside of your mouth and stomach kinda way.
The delicious Cowboy Candy
Let’s talk about what cowboy candy does not partnered well with … honestly, I cannot think of a single item.
Cowboy candy is a great condiment to foods such as brats, burgers, and sandwiches. But feel free to add it to salad, tacos, and even a perfectly grilled steak. The candied jalapenos will only add to flavors which are already present.
With that said, a few candied jalapeno slices on top of goat cheese is perfect with a nice Malbec. This, THIS, is going to make your tummy quite happy. Heck, makes me happy thinking about it!
- 3 pounds fresh jalapeno peppers
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar (5% acidity)
- 6 cups white granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoons celery seed
- 3 teaspoons granulated garlic
- Wearing gloves, slice jalapeno peppers into ¼- inch rounds. We use a mandolin.
- In a large stock pot, add the apple cider vinegar, white sugar, turmeric powder, celery seed, and granulated garlic and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the sliced jalapeno peppers to the hot brine and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, scoop the jalapeno peppers to half-pint jars
- Bring the remaining brine to a hard boil for 5 minutes.
- Using a ladle add the hot brine to the jars.
- Leave a ¼- inch headspace, remove air bubbles, add lids and rings.
- Process in a boiling water canner or steam canner for 10 minutes. If using pints, processing time is increased to 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude.
- Cowboy Candy partners well with brats, burgers, steaks, tacos, salads, or simply served with goat cheese and crackers.
Other methods for preserving jalapeno peppers
Aside from canning cowboy candy, there are other methods available for preserving jalapeno peppers, all are great methods. The method which to best select will depend based on how you wish to use the peppers at a later date.
- Dehyrate and make into a powder
- Freeze sliced or whole to be used in fermented goods or cooking
- Freeze Dry for long term storage while maintaining 97% of it’s nutrients
Second to canning cowboy candy would be this roasted red jalapeno hot sauce. This is a great hot sauce to enjoy during pepper season.
Let me leave you with a tip
Many are unable to grown enough peppers in order to preserve large quantities of canned goods. Local farmers and grocery stores will often offer a discount if the items are purchased in bulk, generally between 10 to 30 percent off the total price.
Find more of our family favorite canning recipes in our new book, The Farm Girl’s Guide to Preserving the Harvest. The guide is an easy to comprehend book regard the preserving foods using home methods, while providing you the confidence needed to properly store the harvest. Pick up your copy here!