Candied Jalapeno or Cowboy Candy

"This recipe keeps the jalapenos in better looking slices in the jar. Recipe courtesy of"
photo by gailanng photo by gailanng
photo by gailanng
photo by Rebecca B. photo by Rebecca B.
photo by Kevin L. photo by Kevin L.
photo by Kevin L. photo by Kevin L.
photo by Beverlee H. photo by Beverlee H.
Ready In:
1hr 5mins
9 Half Pints




  • Wearing gloves, remove the stems from all of the jalapeno peppers. The easiest way to do this is to slice a small disc off of the stem-end along with the stem. Discard the stems.
  • Slice the peppers into uniform 1/8-1/4 inch rounds. Set aside.
  • In a large pot, bring cider vinegar, white sugar, turmeric, celery seed, granulated garlic and cayenne pepper to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add the pepper slices and simmer for exactly 4 minutes.
  • Use a slotted spoon to transfer the peppers, loading into clean, sterile canning jars to within 1/4 inch of the upper rim of the jar.
  • Turn heat up under the pot with the syrup and bring to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for 6 minutes.
  • Use a ladle to pour the boiling syrup into the jars over the jalapeno slices. Insert a cooking chopstick to the bottom of the jar two or three times to release any trapped pockets of air. Adjust the level of the syrup if necessary. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp paper towel and fix on new, two-piece lids to finger-tip tightness.
  • *If you have leftover syrup, and it is likely that you will, you may can it in half-pint or pint jars, too. It’s wonderful brushed on meat on the grill or added to potato salad or, or, or… In short, don’t toss it out!
  • Place jars in a canner, cover with water by 2-inches. Bring the water to a full rolling boil. When it reaches a full rolling boil, set the timer for 10 minutes for half-pints or 15 minutes for pints.
  • When timer goes off, use canning tongs to transfer the jars to a cooling rack. Leave them to cool, undisturbed, for 24 hours. When fully cooled, wipe them with a clean, damp washcloth then label.
  • Allow to mellow for at least two weeks, but preferably a month before eating. Or don’t.

Questions & Replies

  1. I canned the leftover juice and I'm wondering if I can reuse it to can more cowboy candy... Can I ?
  2. I want to use a pressure canner. What would be the time abs pressure?
  3. I would like to use a pressure canner instead of a water bath. What would be the time and pressure?
  4. How can I print recipe
  5. Can you cut back on the sugar? They are super sweet!


  1. Just made this recipe for the first came out excellent. Can't wait to try them after they've had time to sit for a bit. As an added bonus, everyone seems to have their use for leftover syrup. Here's what I just did, and now no one cares about the peppers anymore. I was looking at the syrup while getting some pecans out of a bag for a snack...nuts...syrup?...nuts?...SYRUP??? OUTSTANDING! Throw some pecans in a bowl, pour some syrup over them and toss to coat, then sprinkle with salt. This alone is good enough for me to make the recipe again. Thanks!!! jb
  2. Wonderful. Sweet and spicy. I didnt cut out any seeds, just cut the jalapenos up and added them in. They came out pretty spicy and I heard they mellow with time so I can't wait to try in several weeks. I had a little left over so I put it into a old Fido jar and placed it in the fridge. All my jars came out beautiful!! Thank you!!
    • Review photo by Rebecca B.
  3. A little tip: Use a very large pot. My batch boiled over the pan, the high sugar content meant instant flames. I got the fire out and cleaned up the mess but my kitchen smelled like jalepeno cotton candy for the rest of the day.
  4. This has been my go-to recipe for cowboy candy for several years, every time I give it to anybody I have to add them to the list for the next year. This is great mixed with a block of cream cheese as a dip or on burgers!
  5. I gave these as gifts last year and everyone has raved about them. I have used the reserved syrup on chicken and it was wonderful. Will be making more this year!


  1. Outstanding! No tweaks, no changed. Not broke don't fix. Brother and nephew are true converts to this. He takes his leftover syrup and makes hot wings. Sells out each time, the peppers are served on the side.
  2. If you like HOT use hotter peppers. This works very well with even the hottest of peppers. I make it for my guy with Reapers, ghosts and habeneros. He cant get enough of them.


As I am in South Florida, I have many edible fruits and perennial veggies in my yard. So, I like to cook with them.
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