This Is How to Make Cotton Candy Pickles at Home

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It's sounds bizarre, but I just had to find out: are cotton candy pickles good? The answer surprised me! Here's what I thought—and learn how to make your own at home.

cotton candy picklesTaste of Home, Nancy Mock for Taste of Home

When I heard about this treat, I was literally at a loss for words: cotton candy pickles. Yep, a giant, tangy, dill pickle at the center of a sweet cloud of cotton candy. It sounds like one of those outrageous, often questionable food-on-a-stick snacks found at state fairs.

But I was definitely curious. It sounds so weird, but I needed to know what cotton candy pickles taste like. Luckily, it’s not hard to make a cotton candy-covered pickle at home!

How to Make Cotton Candy Pickles

If you’ve ever had cotton candy, you know how quickly it gets sticky. Any moisture on your hands, on the pickle or even in the air will make the cotton candy start to melt. So before you begin, have everything ready to go and make sure your pickles are dry. This recipe makes two cotton candy pickles.

Ingredients

  • 2 jumbo dill pickles, room temperature
  • 2-1/2 ounces cotton candy
  • Sturdy wood skewers or candy apple sticks

cotton candy picklesNancy Mock for Taste of Home

Directions

Step 1: Dry and skewer the pickles

cotton candy pickles Dry and skewer the picklesNancy Mock for Taste of Home

Use paper towels or a clean kitchen towel to thoroughly dry the pickles. You’ll want whole pickles here—not wedges—so there are no damp sides exposed. As for size, choose any you like. Small pickles would make great bite-sized snacks.

Push the skewers or sticks into the end of each pickle, far enough so that the pickle stays put when you hold it up. Pickle juice will start to run out around the skewer, so dry this part as well.

Step 2: Wrap the pickles with cotton candy

cotton candy pickles Wrap the pickles with cotton candyNancy Mock for Taste of Home

Take out your cotton candy and gently unroll it or pull it open to create a flat sheet. Lay your pickle down on the cotton candy and wrap it up to cover the entire surface of the pickle. Pinch the cotton candy together to close seams and gaps, and smooth the cotton candy around outside so that no pickle shows through. Repeat with the second pickle.

Step 3: Take a bite!

cotton candy pickles Take a bite!Nancy Mock for Taste of Home

This treat won’t last long, so dive into your cotton candy pickles right away. And have your smartphone or camera ready to record reactions, as the brave tasters take their first bites!

First Thoughts

As I took the first bite of my homemade cotton candy pickle, I steeled myself for what might happen when those two flavors hit my tongue. I was completely surprised—it wasn’t that bad!

Mostly I tasted the tangy, dill pucker of the pickle, but with a layer of that hard-to-describe cotton candy flavor: sweet, slightly fruity, cooked sugar. There was also some crunch from the sugar crystals of the cotton candy where it melted against the pickle.

While I deemed this unlikely pairing as “kind of good,” others in my house that I pressed into taste-testing duty were squarely opposed. My son only had one bite, and it left him looking very unhappy. His opinion? Even if no other food was available, he would not eat a cotton candy pickle!

If you’re a fan of sweet pickles like bread and butter, (my son is not), pickled fruit or even other sweet-sour combinations, then you get how these two flavors might actually have a chance together. However, this isn’t the subtly sweet, spiced brine of bread and butter pickles: what you taste here is pure candy.

Final Verdict

This combo probably won’t make a repeat appearance in my house. However, it’s a fun experiment, and you just might find your new favorite food on a stick! It would be fun to make cotton candy pickles to share at a summer party, to give guests a chance to brag they were brave enough to try one.

Where to Buy Cotton Candy and Pickles

Look for containers of cotton candy in party stores, or at groceries and large retailers. I found that a 1.2-ounce container was enough to cover one jumbo pickle.

You can also bring home a bag of fresh cotton candy from a fair or other event. Freshly spun cotton candy will be easier to manipulate and wrap around the pickle, but you’ll still have to eat it right away.

Find jumbo pickles at the deli or at the grocery store, in large jars where the other pickles are stocked. Single-serve pickles in a pouch are also widely available and are perfect for this recipe where you only need one or two.

Have a Cotton Candy Machine? Then You Have to Try This

The pickles are even more fun to make if you have access to a cotton candy machine. There are small, cotton candy machines that you can buy to use at home—which means it’s dangerously easy to have some whenever you want!

I found that the pickle on the stick is too heavy to swirl around the inside of the machine (as you would with a paper cone), but it’s pretty easy to lift the clouds of cotton candy up by hand and wrap them around the pickle. You’ll get impressive-looking, fair-size clouds of cotton candy… with a center of pure pickle.

cotton candy picklesNancy Mock for Taste of Home

Other Ways to Get Your Cotton Candy Pickle Fix

If you’re really curious about the flavor of this strange treat, but don’t want to make your own, there are options. Look for tubs of the original Grandpa Joes’s Candy Shop pickle cotton candy. You get the flavors of sour dill pickles and cotton candy without the fuss of an actual pickle.

Another option is to look for cotton candy pickles at your state fair. If the cotton candy vendor isn’t making cotton candy pickles, it never hurts to bring your own pickle and ask!

State Fair Foods to Make at Home
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Nancy Mock
Discovering restaurants, tasting bakery treats, finding inspiration in new flavors and regional specialties—no wonder Nancy loves being a food and travel writer. She and her family live in Vermont and enjoy all things food, as well as the beautiful outdoors, game nights, Avengers movies and plenty of maple syrup. Find Nancy’s writing and recipes at her website: Hungry Enough To Eat Six.