Sunday, December 12, 2021

Cowboy Candy by Sable Hunter


Hello Everyone! The holidays are almost upon us. I hope you are safe, well, and happy. I also hope you get everything you want for Christmas. As for me, I’m doing well. I have two sweet little girls staying with me most of the time now, which really cuts down on the time I have to write. But that’s okay, this time with Emma and Cassie is precious to me. Would you like to see their pictures? My angels.

Anyway, as I can find the time I’m making goodies. Chocolate chip cookies, Libby’s Brownies, Hot Spice Crackers, Martha Washington candy – and a bunch of other stuff. One other thing is always necessary and that’s COWBOY CANDY. Not what you might presume, but so good and highly addictive. Considering this is a cowboy blog, I thought I’d share the recipe.

Another name for this delectable concoction is candied jalapenos. Yes, candied hot peppers. They are hell yeah! good, I promise. But fiery! So, be brave.

Here we go:

3 pounds jalapenos

2 cups apple cider vinegar

6 cups granulated sugar

½ teaspoon turmeric

½ teaspoon celery seed

3 teaspoon granulated garlic

1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper – or less if you can’t take the heat.

First, find some gloves and put them on – you’re about to be handling fire. Take 3 pounds fresh firm jalapenos – wash them, cut off and discard the stems, then slice the peppers in circles – 1/8 to ¼ inches thick. Keep as many seeds as you want, the more seeds the hotter the finished product. Now set these little jewels aside.

Next, bring the vinegar, sugar, the turmeric, celery seed, garlic, and cayenne to a boil in a large pot. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Raise the heat to a boil again and add the jalapeno slices, return to a rolling boil, then reduce the heat once more and simmer for EXACTLY 4 minutes. Now, to put them in jars… It’s best to use a slotted spoon to pick up the peppers and transfer them into clean, sterile canning jars. Leave a ¼ inch of head space at the upper rim of the jar. Turn heat back up under the pot containing the syrup and bring into a boil one last time. Boil hard for 6 minutes.

Turn off the heat then ladle the boiling syrup into the jars to cover the jalapeno slices. Insert the blade of a case or butter knife carefully into the jars on each side to get rid of any trapped pockets of air. Try to keep the level of syrup to a ¼ inch from the top. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean paper towel that has been dampened in vinegar. Then put on new two-piece canning lids and tighten to finger tight.

If you have leftover syrup, don’t throw it away, it can just it in a pint jar – it’s amazing on grilled meat or to top a salad.

Put the jars into a canner or a big stock pot, cover with water higher than the jars by 2 inches. Bring the water to a rolling boil and boil for 10 minutes for half pints and 15 minutes for pints. This is called water bath canning. Once the time is up, use canning tongs to move these very hot jars to a cooling rack. If you don’t have any canning tongs, wait until the water cools, and use a couple of dishtowels to grab onto them. Be careful the glass jars are super-hot if you don’t let them cool properly. Let them rest for 24 hours, then wipe them off with a washcloth and label them with a cute label if you have one. If you can wait, allow the cowboy candy to sit for two weeks to a month – but I usually can’t wait and have been known to indulge after a couple of days. They do improve with time, however.

If you choose to make these, I’m sure you will love them – if you like spicy things. I can eat a pile of them with a helping of peas and they are great on sandwiches or just as a snack with cheese and crackers. Personally, I can vouch that cowboys love these – I’ve made jars for quite a few of those noble, manly rascals.

Here is a photo of my favorite way to eat them. 

Those little knees on the table belong to Miss Em. Right after I took this picture, she grabbed the cheese. I managed to remove the peppers before she popped it into her mouth, but she let out a squeal of surprise at one remaining drop of sweet, hot pepper juice that remained on the cheese – but she ate it anyway. That’s my girl.

Finally, I wish you the very best Christmas. I hope Santa brings you everything you ask for.

So, goodbye until next time and be careful during the holidays.

Love, Sable Hunter.

Tag Team 

1 comment:

Julie Lence said...

They look yummy, Sable, but I'm not brave enough to try. I'd be squealing like your Ms. Emma! Merry Christmas to you and your family. Thank you for sharing!