These Candied Jalapenos are a powerful blend of sweet & spicy in a very small package. I have a couple tips for making them more mild or more spicy so you can hopefully tweak them to your liking. These take 2 weeks to fully steep & marinate so there’s no time like the present to get started!
First – Prep the Jalapenos
Prepping the jalapenos is very easy. After they’ve been washed & dried, they need to be sliced into rings. Tip for spice control: the more seeds & membrane you leave in the pepper before you slice it, the hotter the rings will be.
If you want a milder result, cut the stem tip off of the jalapeno & gently roll the pepper between your hands. This should release the seeds. Note that you do also have the option to strain the seeds out later after cooking (many detach during the cooking process, but not all).
If you want to remove the membrane as well, gently cut or snip it out from the open end. I do recommend leaving the membrane in to ensure you will get some spice. I’ve had jalapenos as mild as a green bell pepper when the membrane is totally removed & that’s not what we’re going for here.
Second – Candy the Jalapenos
The cooking process for candy-ing the jalapenos is quick & easy. You bring all of the other ingredients to a boil & let it simmer for 5 minutes. The jalapenos are added for another 5 minutes & then transferred to a jar. Super easy.
Tip for spice control: cayenne powder is one of the ingredients. Use it, halve it, or eliminate it – point being: play with it to get your preferred spice level.
Tip for spice control: use a fine mesh strainer when pouring the sugary liquid into the jar. This will remove any seeds from the liquid, preventing them from steeping with the rings during the waiting period. Speaking of said torture …
The Worst Part – Waiting Two Weeks
The jalapenos take two weeks to fully develop their flavors. So wipe down the jar & let those jalaps cool before you close them up & stick them in the fridge. And as tempting as it will be, do not open the jar for two full weeks. You can do it! I promise it’s worth it! Just hide them way in the back & try not to look at them.
Finally – Open & Taste
Sooo … how are they?? Are you brave enough to try one by itself? Let me know how it goes in the comments below!!
Now – what to do with them?
You can always just eat them, but depending on your spice tolerance that may not be enjoyable. They are wonderful to use as garnish or condiment on things you would normally put pickled jalapenos on. Burgers, sandwiches, hot dogs. Maybe add to some eggs or spice up a green salad. I’d love to hear what you come up with!
You could also chop them up & add them to cream cheese or goat cheese for a cooled down dip or spread. For the charcuterie board pictured above, I used 6 ounces of room temperature cream cheese & kept adding the jalapenos until the spice level felt right. Just keep taste testing little bits to get it perfect for you.
Small Batch Candied Jalapenos
A quick & easy way to make candied jalapenos or cowboy candy. Makes 1 pint jar using 1 pound of jalapeno peppers.
- 1 lb Jalapenos
- 2/3 c Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 c Sugar, white granulated
- 1 clove Garlic minced (or 1 t minced)
- 1/4 t Cayenne Pepper optional
- 1/8 t Chili Powder
- 1/8 t Turmeric
- 1/8 t Celery Seed
Using a sharp knife, cut the stems off of the jalapenos & throw away. For a milder result, remove the seeds from the jalapenos while keeping the peppers whole. You can cut them out or try rolling the pepper between your hands to release them. You can also strain the seeds out later but you will not get all of them.
Bring all of the other ingredients to a boil & simmer for for 5 minutes. Add the jalapenos to the pot & simmer for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat if it starts to bubble up & become foamy.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the jalapeno rings to a pint sized mason jar. Add the syrup to the jars. If you want to remove the seeds that detached during the cooking process (for a milder end result), pour the syrup through a fine mesh strainer or coffee filter to keep the seeds behind.
Wipe down the outside of the jar & the rim to avoid any sticky patches. Let cool completely before you put the lid & ring on the jar.
Refrigerate jalapenos for 2 weeks before opening to taste. Once opened, use within 2 months.
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