Looking for a recipe: doctoring up store-bought pickles to make them sweet & spicy

A friend of mine at a place I used to work would make these fantastic pickles. She added stuff to a jar of store-bought pickle slices and turned them into these sweet-hot-spicy addictive treats. I’ve been googling this, but not finding exactly what I’m looking for. I don’t know what pickles she started out with-- probably bread & butter slices. I know there’s sugar, maybe a touch of cloves? For the heat, cayenne? Or maybe dried pizza pepper flakes? Pickled jalapeno juice?

Sound familiar to anyone?

Well, it’s not what you’re looking for, but I’m finishing off some homemade giardiniera that I’m enjoying precisely because of the combination of sweet and hot. The recipe calls for fennel seeds and jalapeños, neither of which was available, so I used anis seeds and four or five drops of Tabasco, and the results are outstanding. It’s only the second batch I’ve made, and I’m starting a third today.

I routinely add a slit habanero or two to store bought bread and butter pickles to amp them up. That may be too hot for you but a red Thai chile or two would work, too. The idea is just add something spicy. That’s it.

Related - I bought some pickles made in Poland from Big Lots, they were dill (I love pickles with a handful of real dill in the jar) but they were also kind of sweet! Delicious! (of course they disappeared not to be found again).

The groceries at Big Lots are the most interesting items there. But, as you point out, don’t get too attached, as you’ll likely never see them again. One time I found some Kellogg’s pop tarts – guava flavored.

perhaps not what you need but at the weekend I made some vietnamese style pickled chillis and garlic.
Sliced up in and doused in rice vinegar into which I dissolved sugar and salt.
They are insanely hot, my son is going to love them.I reckon just a few slices of those popped into any pickle jar will pep things up nicely.

Allrecipes had this recipe using store bought dill pickles that adds sweet and heat

By George, I think you’ve found it! :cucumber: Thank you!!

Really? Yay! The comments offer versions with less sugar and smaller batches. Either way, report back!

Holy moly. A 5 lb bag of sugar to a gallon of pickles!

Am I reading correctly? It sounds like the only liquid, aside from what’s in the pickles, is the five ounces of hot sauce.

From the comments, it sounds like the sugar draws the moisture out of the pickles and you end up with somewhat shrunken pickle spears in a syrup.

I won’t be making a gallon of pickles, so I’ll probably tweak the proportions. I think this is the right set of ingredients though.

ETA: These are the instructions. There is some alchemy involved. :magic_wand: :mage:t4:

Drain the brine from the pickles and discard. Slice pickles lengthwise, and return them to the jar. Pour in the hot pepper sauce, and add the garlic. Pour in about 1/3 of the sugar. Close the lid tightly. Gently tip the jar back and forth several times to allow everything to mix well. Leave out on the counter at room temperature for about 1 week.

During the week, add more sugar as the sugar in the jar dissolves. Gently tip the jar back and forth to mix. Continue the process throughout the week, until you have used up all of the sugar. When all of the sugar has been absorbed, pickles will be dark green and crispy. Transfer pickles to smaller sterile jars, and divide syrup between jars. Seal with lids and rings. Store in the refrigerator, and consume within one month.