One of my favorite snacks is a cracker topped with cream cheese and Candied Jalapenos.  I make enough to fill a mason jar to tuck away in the fridge because I always want more.  These tasty little rings also known as “Cowboy Candy” are great as toppers for your favorite burger, brat or sandwich.  And the syrup has a unique taste that I sometimes add to a vinaigrette for a salad when I want a hint of sweet heat in the background.  No matter the occasion these candied jalapenos will be a big hit!

Did I mention these were simple?  I have a cup of sugar, a cup of water and about a pound of jalapenos (about 10 give or take).

I’ve learned over the years put on a glove when working with chiles.  Otherwise you could feel the burn for hours.  Cut the stem off the top first.

As a personal preference I like to remove the ribs and seeds but if you want to leave them in that’s fine too.  I just place the knife inside around the edges and twist.  The insides usually will fall out.

Slice the jalapenos.

Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat.

Add the sugar and water to the saucepan.  The sugars will dissolve in just a few minutes.

The sugars will dissolve and it will heat to a gentle boil.  Keep and eye on it and stir frequently until the mixture reduces by about half and becomes syrupy.  It takes about 15 – 20 minutes.  Some recipes call for celery seed, tumeric, mustard seed or even lime juice but I prefer this simple syrup where the jalapenos do all the flavoring.

Add the sliced jalapenos and stir to coat every slice.  Over the next 10 – 15 minutes they will soften and turn darker in color.

After 10 – 15 minutes they are soft and limp but still have a slight crunch.  They will be sweet with a hint of heat in the background.

We had an appetizer platter with crackers, whipped cream cheese and freshly made candied jalapenos.

I’m not done yet.  I chopped a few jalapenos to stir into the cream cheese and placed a dollop on top of my steak a couple minutes before I took it off the grill.   Talk about an added layer of YUM!

Candied Jalapenos

1 pound fresh Jalapenos (about 10 or so depending on size)
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Water

Stem and slice the jalapenos into slices.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat dissolve sugar in water.  Bring to a gentle boil and stir 15 – 20 minutes until the mixture reduces by about half and becomes syrupy.  Add the jalapenos slices stirring to coat all.  Continue cooking over medium heat for 10 – 15 minutes or until the jalapenos soften and darken in color.  Remove to cool.  Refrigerate.

Makes approximately 1 pint.