Cowboy Candy (Candied Jalapeños)

So, yeh, I know that I’ve posted this recipe before – in December, just in time for holiday gifts giving – but now, sadly, that supply of this tasty comestible is gone, and more is needed.

Also, we’re on the road this week, so I will be posting what I can.

But, back to the candy!

First, this is sweet, but it is also hot, so watch out for the afterburn…

That said, you’re not feeling so adventuresome for heat? Remove some (or all of the seeds) from the jalapeños when you are slicing them.

Note: wear kitchen gloves when working with any hot peppers.

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

Again, remembering to put on kitchen gloves, then remove the stems from the jalapeños.

Slice the jalapeños. Again, if you don’t want so much heat in your cowboy candy, cut your jalapeños in half lengthwise, then scrape out the membranes and seeds before slicing them. Transfer to a bowl.

Stir the vinegar, sugar, and spices together in a large pot.

Cook, stirring, over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture comes to a full boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer for five minutes, still stirring often, then stir in the jalapeños and cook for four minutes.

Transfer the jalapeños, using a slotted spoon and a wide-mouth funnel, to prepared canning jars – I use half pints – to within 1/4 inch of the top of the jar.

Note: to sterilize your jars and lids, arrange them on a rack in a baking pan in a hot 225º oven for 20 minutes. Heat for 20 minutes, then turn the oven off and leave the jars and lids in the oven until needed.

Increase the heat under the sugar liquid and boil hard for six minutes more.

Remove the pan from the heat and ladle over the peppers in the jars.

For this batch, I got ten half pints of peppers and two half pints of leftover Cowboy Candy Juice.

Note: save the juice! After you’ve enjoyed your Cowboy Candy, the juice is really nice to add to potato, tuna, chicken, or egg salads; and consider brushing a bit over chicken, steaks, or chops on the grill.

One last note: the Cowboy Candy flavor will improve if allowed to rest for two to four weeks before opening, but, it is really pretty darned tasty right away.

Enjoy!

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