Posted by: Jason Wood | March 7, 2009

Candied Chili Peppers



A few weeks back I made a batch of candied ginger (sorry, I forgot to take pictures of the process but did remember to snap a pic of the finished product before it all disappeared). Man, a small piece of this will do wonders to clear your sinuses out! WOW!


It got me to thinking what else I could make into candy! Chili peppers! Mmmm.

After some time spent on Google to find out if it could be done I came across that showed how to do it, so, off to the grocery store I went to get some peppers and sugar.


First step was to slice these open and pull out the seeds. A word of caution – the oil that comes out and gets on your hands can be pretty unpleasant if it gets in your eyes or nose so be careful (not that I am speaking from experience or anything). The oil made my hands burn like crazy for a few hours after I was done as well so wash your hands really well when you are done slicing them. I will NEVER complain about cutting onions again!


In a large saucepan I set 4 cups of water to boiling and stirred in 1 kg of sugar (SWEET – but hey, I am making candy after all!). I let that boil for about 30 minutes to reduce some of the liquid and make a syrup. 

I put the cut peppers into a glass container where they would be able to soak  in the syrup


and then using a large-mouthed funnel I filled the jar with the hot syrup. This stuff is sticky and HOT so be careful, put something under the jar to catch any spills because it is a pain the rear to clean it up, and DON’T be tempted to wipe the pot with your finger because sugar this hot will burn, and fast (and no, I am NOT speaking from experience on this one!).

It is important to cover ALL the peppers in syrup, a jar like this one works well as it has a lid. I poured enough into the jar that it leaked out the side when I closed the lid – a bit messy to clean up but at least I knew they were covered.


Kind of pretty, eh?

Leave it sit for 24 hours. There will be a lot of the syrup left over so put this into an old glass jar and set aside, you will need it for the next part.

Next day drain the syrup through a strainer back into the sauce pot


and add in the reserved sugar syrup. Add in another 50 g of sugar and boil for 30 minutes. This will thicken the syrup even more. Put the chilies back into the jar and then pour the syrup over them (basically a repeat of the first step). Leave for another 24 hours and repeat again. When I did this on the second day not sure what happened but the syrup started foaming and when I poured it into the jar it started to crystalize shortly thereafter so I had to pull it out quick. Theoretically you should be able to leave them soak for 48 hours after the third cycle of boiling, but I didn’t get that far.

So, the chilies water content  has now been replaced with sugar (that’s what all the soaking was for!) and they are still nice and soft and colorful but they need to be dried. Heat your oven to 200  Farenheit and get a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (again, for ease of clean-up, I hate cleaning up so anything that makes it easier I am all for!) and put a wire rack down. Lay the chili peppers out on the rack and then put it in the oven for an hour. After an hour turn the heat off and leave the peppers in the oven overnight. Next morning, CANDY CHILI PEPPERS. Sweet and hot.


Yummy all by themselves and now the fun part comes to think about what I can add them to and spice it up!



  1. I forgot all about this, being so interested in the ginger!

    But we will have Bahamian peppers soon…

  2. Cool! Make sure to bring some to summer school!

  3. Ha! Not that soon!!

  4. Bless you! I am creating a new cookie and needed a recipe for candied chilis! I think this is just what I’ve been looking for.

    Stay tuned! I’ll be delighted to share if the recipe comes out well…

    hint>>> chocolate, cinnamon, dried tart apples are the other main ingredients

    • Hey Terri, good luck. I used these in a chocolate chip cookie and they were great, added that little kick that certainly got people’s attention. Make sure you tell them about that extra ingredient though or else it will come as a real surprise! Can’t wait to hear how it turns out. Jason

  5. Question? What about leaving them whole and after they are candied, dipping in chocolate? I really want to make a chocolate dipped chili..

    • I am sure that you could do that, sounds like it would work. Would it be necessary to candy the pepper though, or could you just dip it like you would strawberries?

      • That is where I am conflicted. The process of candying them will “preserve” them so I can give as gifts. Also, I wonder if the rawness taste will go with Chocolate. My dad is a heat freak. I live in El Paso, and we got some great Chili’s here. So..I was thinking of a unique Christmas gift…Your recipe seems to be the one closest to what I was envisioning..

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