I make Jalapeno Jelly every year. This time, I was looking for something different to do with all our Jalapenos. I stumbled on an interesting recipe using these fiery peppers which turns them into completely edible and slightly sweet hard candy. I’m forever hooked and we now stock this in our long term pantry for “Cold Season”. Here’s the recipe for this great addition to your medicine pantry!
- 20 Jalapeno Peppers with seeds
- 1/2 Cup Water
- 2 2/3 Cup White Sugar
- 1 1/2 Cup Light Corn Syrup
This next part is up to you. You can use a mold of your choice or spray a cake pan with non-cooking spray or use a silicone mat/etc… I originally went with spraying a baking sheet. The beauty with this kind of recipe is, it doesn’t have to look “pretty” once it’s all said and done.
Slice jalapenos (with seeds) and blend with the water until liquified. DON’T EVEN THINK OF INHALING! Measure 1 Cup of jalapeno liquid with the solids. Discard the remainder.
Combine jalapeno liquid with the remaining ingredients in a pot and boil until the mixture reaches hard crack stage. (Hard-Crack Stage refers to a specific temperature range when cooking sugar syrups. Hard-Crack Stage occurs at 300-310 degrees. This stage can be determined by dropping a spoonful of hot syrup into a bowl of very cold water. Remove the candy from the water and attempt to bend it. If hard-crack stage has been reached, the syrup will form brittle threads in the water, and will crack if you try to mold it.) You will need to stir to keep it from boiling over or burning. Don’t let it burn!
As you can see, the mixture starts out a very vibrant green and slowly turns a darker green as it nears the hard crack phase. If you have a candy thermometer, this is the time to use it. Otherwise, follow the hard-crack instructions above.
If you are doing this by hand, the procedure becomes considerably more interesting at this point. The object of this exercise is to take liquid that has a temperature of over 300 degrees F. and turn it into cooled lozenges without incurring third degree burns. After trial and painful error, my preferred method was to pour the molten liquid onto a prepared baking sheet. Working from the edges, I would allow the candy to cool until manageable but still quite hot. I originally attempted to just spread it out and “roll” it into a log. When this stuff starts cooling (and this happens rather quickly) you’re going to hit a point where you just can’t shape it anymore. This happened to me so I decided to go “Cave Man style” and just break it apart with a hammer. :::chuckle:::
What I ended up with looked like a golden nugget but, green. Once I broke up the candy and made a complete mess, I shook them in a Ziploc bag with powdered sugar. I then emptied the candies into a fine mesh colander to shake off the excess powdered sugar. Ta-da! Cowboy Candy!
These babies pack a small punch! There is just enough heat to soothe a sore throat and just enough sweet to keep your esophagus from internal combustion. Seriously, you should stock these in your medical pantry or just put them in a candy dish and wait for it. We will never be without Cowboy Candy!