Cowboy Candy
Youtube/ Hey Grill Hey

Cowboy Candy is the Ultimate Super Bowl Appetizer

When you think about the Super Bowl, three things come to mind: football (obviously!), tailgate parties, and some of the most delicious snacks ever. You know the like: wings, chips, dips, all those fun things. But if you're looking for something a little different that you may not have tried before, you should consider cowboy candy. You may have heard of it if you spend time on TikTok: a crunchy, spicy, and sweet snack that's as savory as it is irresistible. If you want a crowd-pleasing appetizer for your Super Bowl party this year, this is one easy-to-make delicacy that you'll want to make over and over again.

What is Cowboy Candy?

Let's get one thing settled: cowboy candy isn't actually candy. Sorry to disappoint, but hear us out. It's still super yummy! Cowboy candy is actually just a fun name for candied jalapenos. It doesn't always have to be candied jalapenos on their own, though. You can add other peppers or ingredients to upgrade it or shift the recipe around for your liking.

It's an inventive snack that combines the spiciness of jalapenos with the sweetness of sugar for a rich mix of umami and candy-like sweetness. It's perfect to eat with chips, as a topper for taco salad, as a side dish, or on its own with a fork right from the jar! It's a delicate blend of familiar flavors that you'll want to keep munching on long after the big game ends. And your guests? Well, they're undoubtedly going to want more.

How do you make Cowboy Candy?

As it happens, there are a variety of ways to make cowboy candy, which means you'll probably find a recipe you enjoy, tweak it to perfection, and start serving that version alone for the foreseeable future.

If you're ready to try your hand at making cowboy candy, or candied jalapenos, we've rounded up one of the simplest starter recipes to make the mouth-watering morsels. These instructions have been crowd-sourced from dozens of different recipes and culled into one fabulous version that ensures you'll have one of the best go-to recipes this February!

First, you're going to need the following:

  • 1 lb of fresh jalapenos (about 20 to 30 whole jalapenos)
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp celery seed
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

First, remove all the stems from your peppers. Once you've done that, slice each one up into 1/4-inch slices. Set them aside, because you'll come back to them in a moment. Now, you need to focus on making the glaze.

Take a large pot and add your apple cider vinegar, sugar, turmeric, celery seed, and cayenne pepper. Bring it all to a boil and let it simmer on low heat for 5 to 7 minutes.

Once you've let the ingredients simmer for a bit, raise the heat back up to boiling and add your jalapeno slices back in. When boiling, reduce the head to low once more for a quick 5-minute simmer.

Use a spoon to transfer your pepper slices to a dish or a jar where you'd like to keep them. A mason jar is a great choice for long-term storage. Once you've transferred only the peppers, continue boiling the liquid left over in the pot. Continue to do so for 5 minutes.

When the timer is up, take the leftover jalapeno syrup you boiled and add it to your dish or jar. Add a lid or screw top to your jar, and then refrigerate. You're done! You can expect your candied jalapenos to last for about 2 to 3 months, or to disappear immediately if you're serving them to hungry party guests. Feel free to experiment with the ingredients and tweak it to your liking. You may find that a different set of spices and seasonings work better for you.

Why did Cowboy Candy go viral on TikTok?


Giddy up cowboy! We are making cowboy candy and its addicting! (Candied jalapeños)

♬ original sound - Trazia Rae


Thanks to the ever-talented and scarily creative cooking enthusiasts on TikTok, cowboy candy quickly grew to massive popularity after it began appearing in a variety of videos showcasing how to make and eat the delicious snack. Various creators have been shown making them and how simple it is to prepare and store them for long-term munchies, and the phenomenon went viral from there. Plus, if you've actually tasted one, you'll know very well why they're so popular.

Why is Cowboy Candy the perfect Super Bowl snack?

When you're munching away on snacks at Super Bowl parties, you want something that's easy to pick up and munch on. You don't want to have to use a fork or something that requires a lot of coordination or thought to eat, like a baked potato or spaghetti — not that anyone is serving that at Super Bowl parties. You want chips and dip, finger foods, buffalo wings, and many of the other great party-centric dishes that you can grab and go and eat with your hands while you focus all your attention on the big game.

Since Cowboy Candy is mostly just candied jalapenos, that makes it perfect for snacking on by the handful, it's an excellent snack and appetizer for Super Bowl parties. You know what you're getting and you're delivering it right to your mouth, so all you have to do is relax and concentrate on how your team is doing. And then keep dipping, with your fingers, a fork, your favorite chips, or whatever sounds good! Just make sure you aren't eating too many of them if you're sensitive to spicy foods. That might make for an uncomfortable time later on.

With that in mind, go forth and make some delicious snacks! And be sure to invite us if you're going to be making enough for the whole family to share.

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