Homemade Cowboy Candy (Candied Jalapenos): From Garden to Jar

My jalapeno plants are continuously pumping out ripe jalapenos. I don’t want to waste them so I went to an old standby recipe that I haven’t made in a few years: Cowboy Candy.

Check out this YouTube video where I demonstrate how to make this incredibly easy homemade recipe using spicy jalapenos straight from the garden and canning them in a jar with a sweet cowboy candy sauce. The sweet and spicy flavors blend so well together and make an incredible appetizer over cream cheese, as a marinade for meats, or as a complement to any of your entrees. This homemade cowboy candy (candied jalapenos) will impress your family and friends either eating it or as a gift to let somebody know how much you mean to them.

Preparation

Preparation does involve a bit of work to slice up the jalapeno peppers and getting all the other ingredients together.

All ingredients gathered and ready to go.
Slicing jalapenos
Sliced Jalapenos

Cooking it up

You basically throw all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. This includes the apple cider vinegar, sugar, turmeric, cayenne pepper, celery seeds and garlic.

Adding apple cider vinegar
Adding garlic
Bring the candying solution up to a boil

The next step is to add in the jalapenos and cook for 4 to 5 minutes.

Sliced jalapeno peppers in the candying solution

Canning

Everything is cooked up so now we just need to transfer the peppers using a slotted spoon to the jars. You come back and fill up to the 1/2″ head space with the candying solution.

Filling the jars

Please remember to wipe the rims off with a wet paper towel to ensure the lids will seal better.

Wiping rims
Taking jars out of canner

Recipe

Cowboy Candy (Candied Jalapenos)

This incredibly easy homemade recipe uses spicy jalapenos paired with a sweet cowboy candy sauce. The sweet and spicy flavors blend so well together and make an incredible appetizer over cream cheese, as a marinade for meats, or as a complement to any of your entrees. This homemade cowboy candy (candied jalapenos) will impress your family and friends either eating it or as a gift to let somebody know how much you mean to them.
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 30

Equipment

  • Pressure Canner or Boiling Water Canner
  • Gloves, Latex or other
  • Saucepan

Ingredients
  

  • 3 lbs Peppers, Jalapeno (fresh)
  • 2 cups Vinegar, Apple Cider
  • 6 cups Sugar, Granulated White
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp Celery Seed
  • 2 Clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Pepper, Cayenne

Instructions
 

  • Pick 3 pounds of fresh ripe jalapeno peppers from your garden. If not available, pick some up from the grocery store.
  • Wearing gloves, remove the very top and the stem from the jalapeno peppers.
  • Slice the peppers in 1/4" rounds. Set aside.
  • In a large pot, bring apple cider vinegar, white sugar, turmeric, celery seed, minced garlic and cayenne pepper to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Raise the heat back to a boil and add the jalapeno pepper rounds and return to a hard boil. Reduce heat again and simmer for 4-5 minutes.
  • Transfer the jalapeno pepper slices to your clean jars leaving a head space of no less than 1/2".
  • Using a ladle, transfer the syrup to fill the jars ensuring you leave a head space of no less than 1/2".
  • Wipe the rims with a clean and damp paper towel. Put on lids and screw on top finger tip tight.
  • Place jars in a canner ensuring the top of jar is covered with 2" of water. Bring the water to a full rolling boil. When it reaches a full rolling boil, boil jars for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let cool. When safe, remove jars from water using canning tongs and transfer to a cooling rack. Leave them to cool for 24 hours.
  • Allow jars to sit for 2 – 3 weeks before eating as the flavors will mature in that time.
Keyword Candied, Candy, Canning, Cowboy, Jalapeno, pepper, spicy, Sweet

Pepper Jelly: From Garden to Jar

Pepper jelly is one of those treats that we just love to make, eat, and give away, as it just leads to good time and memories. I use Jalapeno peppers fresh from the garden to make it. If you don’t have any in the garden, then pick some up at the grocery store, or use some other kind of peppers, and make yourself some pepper jelly. Eating pepper jelly with Ritz crackers over cream cheese is just delicious. Plain and simple, its good stuff.

Click here to see the YouTube video!

Harvesting the Peppers

First step in this process is to go into the backyard and harvest some Jalapenos from my organic raised-bed garden. I have 8 Jalapeno plants in my garden including Craig’s Grande, Pumpkin Spice, Orange Spice, and Brown Jalapeño varieties.

Harvesting fresh jalapenos from the garden to make pepper jelly
Picking some fresh Jalepeno peppers
Harvesting fresh jalapenos from the garden to make pepper jelly
Picking some fresh Jalepeno peppers

Preparing the Ingredients

The two main items to prepare before cooking is to prepare the peppers and prepare the jars. There is plenty of heat in Jalapeno peppers so we will want to remove the seeds and membrane. Then we’ve got to dice them up. Note: Do yourself a favor and put on some gloves as you work with the peppers so you won’t burn yourself up every time you touch your fingers to your face (or elsewhere)!

Removing seeds from Jalapeno peppers to make pepper jelly
Removing seeds from Jalapeño peppers (use gloves)
Diced up Jalapenos (I doubled the recipe)

The other primary task is to prepare the jars by sterilizing the jars, lids, and rings in boiling water or in your dishwasher.

Cooking it Up

The recipe for cooking the pepper jelly up is really simple. You only have a few ingredients including peppers, sugar, vinegar, and liquid pectin. The basis for the recipe did come from a really good book, Complete Book of Home Preserving, where I learned a lot about canning and other preservation methods. I doubled the recipe as well since I had plenty of peppers. You pretty much bring everything to boil except the pectin. Then that’s added under boil for about a minute. Next, you are ready to transfer to the jars.

Cooking pepper jelly
Cooking the pepper jelly
Adding liquid pectin to pepper jelly
Adding the liquid pectin to the pepper jelly

Canning Pepper Jelly

The final part is to fill your jars with the pepper jelly, wipe the rim, place the lid on and screw the ring on finger tight. Next transfer them to the canner where they are to be processed (boiled) for a minimum of 10 minutes.

Transferring pepper jelly into 1/2 pint jars leaving 1/2" head space
Put pepper jelly into jars leaving 1/2″ head space
Removing processed pepper jelly from canner
Removing them from the Canner
Pepper Jelly over Cream Cheese with Crackers

Pepper Jelly

This pepper jelly recipe uses fresh jalapeños from my garden to make some excellent pepper jelly you can enjoy year around. It is a favorite at our house over cream cheese and crackers. It's a staple in south Louisiana for LSU football watching parties and holiday snacks.
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 15 mins
Canning time 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr 25 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

  • 12 oz Jalepeno peppers, stemmed, seeded and deveined Wear latex gloves while processing the peppers
  • 2 cups Vinegar, Apple Cider
  • 6 cups Sugar, Granulated
  • 2 pouches Liquid Pectin each 3 oz.
  • 1 box Crackers, Ritz Can be substituted with any other crackers
  • 1 box Cream Cheese

Instructions
 

  • Prepare canner, jars and lids. Makes about five 8-ounce jars.
  • Dice up peppers finely.
  • In a large, deep stainless steel or ceramic saucepan, combine peppers, apple cider vinegar and sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes.
  • Stir in pectin. Boil hard, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat
  • Quickly pour hot jelly into jars, leaving 1/2" headspace. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until finger-tight,
  • Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.
  • Serve over cream cheese with crackers.
Keyword AMERICAN, Appetizer, crackers, cream cheese, Jalepeno, jelly, pepper, pepper jelly, snack, spicy

This makes a great gift or serve your pepper jelly poured over some cream cheese, with crackers, and make memories with your family and friends.  Please let us know how you like this post or have suggestions on future posts. Please visit our YouTube channel as well.

Enjoy! Remember, if you can dream it, you can do it!

Check out my other garden to jar post here (Salsa Verde).

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