Cowboy Candy (Candied Jalapeños)

My dear friend Karen turned me on to a delicious snack called cowboy candy. Some of you may have heard of it, but when she first mentioned it to me, I was clueless, I had never heard of it. I’ve tried jalapeño jam, but never cowboy candy. I love jalapeños so the title alone had me curious.

Freshly chopped jalapeños is a beautiful site to behold behind a camera lens. The other ingredients of turmeric, garlic, celery seeds, sugar, and cayenne pepper make for an easy recipe to follow. This recipe calls for three pounds of jalapeños but because jalapeños are so expensive here in Germany, I made this recipe with only one pound of jalapeños (sigh).

When she first emailed me and told me all about the recipe I was sold at candied jalapeños. She knew I’d be drooling at her description of the dish and I can only imagine the grin on her face when I asked her for the recipe. She baited me well.

She and her daughter Katie have their own food blog called Katie Pies. Her blog is about their love of all things sweet to include pies of course.

After cooking the jalapeños in a mixture of apple cider vinegar, spices, and sugar, they take on a rich deep green tone. The hard part was letting them sit for about two weeks before eating; they taste better after sitting in the fridge for a couple of weeks. The explosion of tastes on one’s tongue ran the gamut of salty, sweet, and a little bit of spice in every bite.

One evening, my hubby and I sat down with a glass of wine and gobbled up the entire pile of goat cheese topped with these candied jalapeños. It was easy; we spread some goat cheese on a cracker or bruschetta, piled on some cowboy candy and before we knew it the pile of cheese and jalapeños were gone. I do have some more cowboy candy but now I need to run out and get some more goat cheese, maybe I’ll try some with Brie next time.

Have you ever had cowboy candy?

Cowboy Candy (Candied Jalapeños)


  • 3 pounds fresh jalapeños, washed
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 6 cups granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon celery seed
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper


  1. Remove stems from all of the jalapeños and slice into 1/8 to 1/4 inch rounds. Set aside.
  2. In a large pot, bring the cider vinegar, sugar, turmeric, celery seed, garlic and cayenne pepper to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the pepper slices and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Use a slotted spoon, transfer the peppers into clean sterile canning jars leaving ¼ inch at the top of the jar.
  5. Turn the heat and bring the syrup to a full rolling boil. Boil for 6 minutes. Pour the syrup over the jalapeño peppers in the jars but still leaving ¼ inch from the top. Make sure there are no air pockets. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp cloth and place lids on the jars.
  6. You can store these in the refrigerator or complete the canning process so that they are shelf stable. Either way they need to mellow for at least two weeks before eating.
  7. To complete the canning process place the jars in a large pot of hot water, covered by 2 inches. Bring the water to a full boil and boil for 10 minutes for half pints and 15 minutes for pints. When the time is up transfer jars to a cooling rack. Leave them to cool, undisturbed for 24 hours.

I’d love to see what you cook!

Tag #MUYBUENOCOOKING if you make this recipe.

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Written by Veronica / Photos by Veronica