Cowboy Candy

Cowboy Candy (Candied Jalapeños): Sweet Heat in Every Bite

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Get ready to embark on a flavor adventure with our Cowboy Candy recipe! These candied jalapeños strike the perfect balance between sweet and spicy, making them a deliciously addictive treat that’s sure to liven up any dish. Whether you’re topping burgers, adding a kick to sandwiches, or simply enjoying them straight out of the jar, Cowboy Candy is a versatile condiment that will leave you craving more. Let’s dive into how to make this fiery delight!


  • 1/2 lb jalapeño peppers, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the granulated sugar, apple cider vinegar, salt, and celery seeds. Stir well to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  3. Once the mixture is simmering, add the sliced jalapeño peppers.
  4. Continue to simmer the peppers in the syrup for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the candied jalapeños to a clean, sterilized jar, packing them tightly.
  6. Carefully pour the remaining syrup over the jalapeños in the jar, ensuring they are fully submerged.
  7. Allow the jar to cool to room temperature before sealing it with a lid.
  8. Store the Cowboy Candy in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before serving to allow the flavors to meld.
  9. Enjoy your homemade candied jalapeños as a zesty topping or a fiery snack!

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Adjusting Heat: To control the heat level of your Cowboy Candy, you can remove the seeds and membranes from the jalapeño slices before cooking them in the syrup. Alternatively, leave the seeds in for an extra spicy kick.
  • Flavor Enhancements: Experiment with adding additional spices or flavorings to the syrup mixture for a customized twist. Cumin, garlic, or even a splash of whiskey can take your Cowboy Candy to the next level.
  • Texture Variation: If you prefer a softer texture, you can simmer the jalapeños in the syrup for a longer period of time until they reach your desired consistency.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: How long will Cowboy Candy last in the refrigerator? A: Properly stored in a sealed jar in the refrigerator, Cowboy Candy can last for several months. However, it’s so delicious that it’s unlikely to stick around for that long!

Q: Can I use other types of peppers for this recipe? A: Absolutely! While jalapeños are traditional for Cowboy Candy, you can experiment with other peppers such as serranos, habaneros, or even bell peppers for different flavor profiles and heat levels.

Q: Can I preserve Cowboy Candy for long-term storage? A: Yes, you can process the jars of Cowboy Candy in a water bath canner for long-term shelf stability. Follow proper canning procedures and consult a reliable resource for detailed instructions.

Q: Is Cowboy Candy keto-friendly? A: Unfortunately, Cowboy Candy is not keto-friendly due to the high sugar content. However, you can explore sugar-free alternatives using keto-friendly sweeteners such as erythritol or stevia.

Q: Can I make a low-carb version of Cowboy Candy? A: Yes, you can make a low-carb version of Cowboy Candy by using a low-carb sweetener in place of granulated sugar. Keep in mind that the texture and flavor may differ slightly from the traditional recipe.

Keto Versions and Low Carb Versions:

  • Keto Version: Substitute the granulated sugar with a keto-friendly sweetener such as erythritol or monk fruit sweetener. Adjust the sweetness to taste and follow the same instructions for preparing the syrup and cooking the jalapeños.
  • Low Carb Version: For a low-carb version, use a low-carb sweetener of your choice in place of granulated sugar. Keep in mind that some low-carb sweeteners may have different sweetness levels, so adjust accordingly.

Cowboy Candy is a must-have condiment for anyone who loves a little sweet heat in their life. With its irresistible combination of spicy jalapeños and sweet syrup, it’s the perfect addition to sandwiches, salads, charcuterie boards, and more. Whether you’re a seasoned cowboy or a city slicker, you’re sure to appreciate the bold flavors and versatility of this homemade treat. So grab your jalapeños and get ready to embark on a culinary adventure with Cowboy Candy – your taste buds will thank you!

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