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Homemade Homegrown Organic Cowboy Candy (“Candied Jalapenos”)

cowboy candy, candied jalapenos, organic gardening, canning, waterbath

Mmmmmm y’all. If you’ve never had Cowboy Candy before, you’re in for a treat! I make this usually in late summer when allllll the jalapenos in my garden are ripe and ready for picking. You’ll need to make sure you choose firm peppers that don’t take much effort to pluck. As always, I recommend using organic gardening practices to help keep me and my family healthy. (Growing organic is easier than you think!)

I waterbath my Cowboy Candy to make it last all winter (well, it never really lasts THAT long around here, but I digress). So I make larger batches of these and I usually end up with 6-8 jars that are ready to pop and use whenever the fancy strikes!

Make a double batch and you’re set with gifts for others, too. πŸ˜‰


  • 3 lbs jalapenos, fresh and firm
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 6 cups granulated sugar
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon celery seed
  • 3 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper


  1. Wearing gloves, remove the stems from all of the jalapeno peppers. The easiest way to do this is to slice a small disc off of the stem-end along with the stem. Discard the stems.
  2. Slice the peppers into uniform 1/8-1/4 inch rounds. Set aside.
  3. In a large pot, bring cider vinegar, white sugar, turmeric, celery seed, granulated garlic and cayenne pepper to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the pepper slices and simmer for 4 minutes.
  5. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the peppers, loading into clean, sterile canning jars to within 1/4 inch head-space.
  6. Turn heat up under the pot with the syrup and bring to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for 6 minutes.
  7. Use a ladle to pour the boiling syrup into the jars over the jalapeno slices. Insert a cooking chopstick (or butter knife) to the bottom of the jar two or three times to release any trapped pockets of air. Adjust the level of the syrup if necessary. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp paper towel and fix on new, two-piece lids to finger-tip tightness.
  8. Waterbathe 10 minutes for half-pints or 15 minutes for pints (or according to your altitude). Transfer the jars to a cooling rack. Leave them to cool, undisturbed, for 24 hours. When fully cooled, wipe them with a clean, label and store with rings/bands off.

Allow to mellow for at least two weeks, but preferably a month before eating

*If you have leftover syrup, can it in half-pint or pint jars, too. It’s wonderful brushed on meat on the grill, brushed onto meat or veggies, or added to potato salad etc…

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