Cowboy Candy (Candied Jalapeños)

Sweet heat, these are tasty!

A friend shared this recipe with me last week and I had to make a batch for holiday gift gatherings and gift giving.

I am not giving attribution, because I found, basically the same recipe all over the interwebs. One guy suggested adding mustard seed, which I thought a nifty idea. One nice lady recommended also canning the leftover pickling juice for use in potato salad and on grilled meats.

Also pretty nifty.

My addition was to add a bit of Aleppo pepper, and I am pleased with that.

All in all, I got nine half pints of sweetly hot pickled jalapeños and three half pints of juice. Not a bad deal.

•3 lbs jalapenos, fresh and firm
– about 10 cups of sliced jalapeños
•2 cups cider vinegar
•6 cups granulated sugar
•1/2 tsp turmeric
•1/2 tsp celery seed
•1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
•3 tsp garlic powder
•1 tsp Cayenne pepper
•1 tsp mustard seed

A note about working with hot peppers: use disposable gloves to avoid coming indirect contact with the peppers. Your fingers (and eyes, and mebbe other parts of your body) will thank you for it.

Cut off and discard the stem ends from the jalapeños, then slice the rest into thin rounds.

Add the vinegar and spices to the sugar in a large non-reactive pot and bring to a boil, stirring often.

Simmer for five minutes, then add the peppers and continue to cook for another four minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the jalapeños to prepared canning jars.*

Return the pickling liquid to a full boil and cook for another six minutes.

Pour the pickling liquid over the peppers in the canning jars to within 1/4 inch of the top of the jar.

Poke a wooden skewer into the jars a couple of times to remove any possible air bubbles, then put lids and bands in place.

Process in a boiling water bath for ten minutes or so; fifteen minutes if you’re doing full pints.

*You can, of course, sterilize canning jars and lids in boiling water, or, arrange them on a baking pan in an oven heated to 225º. Let ’em rest in there fro 20 minutes, then you can turn the oven off and grab your nicely prepped jars and lids when you’re ready to process.

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