Purple Kitchen Treats

Over the past few years, I have been working on a cookbook. During this time, I took time off to finish my Master's Degree. Now that I have accomplished that, I am working again on my cookbook, slowly but surely.

However, over the past few months, something interesting has happened...I have received multiple requests for baked goods, particularly my cookies. I am also receiving multiple requests for granola. So, with all these requests in mind, I have started to make my cookies for sale, along with my granola.

My official web site is available, but will be undergoing a significant redesign. Be sure to visit my "official" web site at: http://www.susanshonk.com and watch for some exciting changes.

From the heart of my purple kitchen to you,

Friday, June 3, 2011

365 in 365 - #73 - Candied Jalapenos

I have several recipes that were posted before the 365 recipe challenge began.  I am re-posting them into the 365 challenge because it will make them easier to find and will give me a chance to review them and update the recipes with any changes that I have made.  

Typically, candied jalapenos are made from pickled jalapenos.  But that just takes too long for me.  Who wants to get a 5 lb jar of pickled jalapenos, try to fit a bag of sugar in the jar and then wait days for them to be ready?

I have come up with a great and easy recipe.  However........

First and foremost - be very careful with this recipe.  Please keep in mind these very important safety tips when working with boiling sugar and water mixtures:

  • Boiling sugar and water is basically a clear form of molten lava and can cause severe burns. 
  • DO NOT make this recipe with small children in the kitchen or with them trying to help you.  If you have small children, it might be best is you make these after they go to bed
  • DO NOT inhale the fumes from the pan....these can irritate your airway and make you cough...you will be able to smell the peppers throughout the house/apartment.   If memory serves me correctly, the chemical that makes peppers hot is what is used in the pepper spray that police use.  
  • DO NOT leave the handle of the pan sticking out from the stove
  • DO NOT put your finger into the pan to try and do a taste test
  • DO NOT try and sample the peppers with a spoon - these take time to cool.
  • Leave the pan on the stove and let the jalapenos cool......this will take at least 2 hours, if not more.  
  • When preparing the peppers, wear plastic / vinyl gloves....and DO NOT touch your face, ears, mouth, nose or any other body parts until you have removed the gloves and washed your hands. 

I actually made the mistake of cutting too many peppers (over 100 peppers) and didn't wear gloves.....let me tell you, my hands burned for days......and nothing helped with the burn.

Start with 30 - 45 peppers, wash and slice into 1/2 inch rings (I keep the seeds and veins).  
In a large heavy pan, add 3 cups of sugar, 3 cups of water, 3 tbsp of light corn syrup, 
In a piece of cheese cloth, place 1 cinnamon stick and 6 cloves and tie to secure the contents, Let the liquid get warm enough to melt the sugar & add the jalapenos, being very careful so that you don't get splashed with the boiling sugar water.
Simmer for about 30 minutes stirring occasionally, or until the liquid boils down by about half so the syrup gets nice and thick and let cool.  
If you want a thinner consistency to the syrup, cook the peppers for about 30 minutes.

My husband LOVES these peppers and I make a batch every 2 weeks.

If I'm feeling very ambitious, I will cut the peppers in half, and seed and devein them......as noted above, be sure to wear gloves.  The Christmas gift for our party guests was a Mason jar filled with red and green candied peppers and a card with serving suggestions on it....think Goat cheese on garlic bruschetta topped with candied jalapenos, chopping the peppers and adding them to cornbread...and maybe a few other ideas.

Other tips: strain some of the spicy sugar syrup for use in Margaritas, Mango iced tea, brownies, home-made chocolate truffles or for any time you feel like adding something sweet and spicy to a drink or dish.

If you like sweet and spicy, you will like these.


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