Cheater Sweet Pickles

by Min Merrell
how to make sweet pickles

Cheater Sweet Pickles turn Store-Bought Sour Pickles Sweet

Years ago we learned how to transform jars of store-bought dill and sour pickles into delicious “cheater” home-style sweet pickles from our friend, the cookbook author Anne Byrn of Cake Mix Doctor fame.  All you do is slice up whole dill or sour pickles and combine them with loads of sugar.  After three days in the fridge, they magically turn into almost candied crisp sweet pickles.  It’s a trend that became especially popular in Nashville with Anne’s mother’s generation of savvy hostesses who wanted to have a little something special on the holiday relish tray to pair with the Christmas country ham or to accent a turkey sandwich. 

This isn’t just an old Nashville trend, either.  Dayna Turney, a Nashville transplant from Houston, TX, makes a Texas-style cheater pickle loaded with garlic, Serrano peppers and a whole bottle of Tabasco.  The Texas recipe came through Dayna’s sister’s mother-in-law, and now the sweet-hot Christmas pickles are coveted all over Nashville.

After learning about cheater sweet pickles from Anne, we got into the act by combining the pickles with pickled jalapeños, garlic and whole mustard seed.  With the basic sugar to pickle ratio, you can add all kinds of fun ingredients like prepared horseradish, roasted peppers, pickling spices, sliced onion and turmeric.

The summer cucumbers may be long gone, but now’s the perfect time for holiday cheater pickling.



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M2 Merrell December 7, 2012 - 8:50 am

I am SO making these!!

Mindy Merrell December 7, 2012 - 9:51 am

Do it! People go crazy for them. Use plenty of hot peppers!

ron mensen March 15, 2013 - 7:34 pm

do you have a recipe for cheater horseradish dill pickles with onion and garlic in thanks ron

Mindy Merrell March 16, 2013 - 8:11 am

No, but I’m thinking about it and I’ll get back to you!

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