Wash and rinse the pint canning jars. IF you can, keep hot until ready to use. - this can be done by placing them on a baking sheet, placing them in the oven and turning it on the lowest temperature.
Prepare the lids and the sealing bands according to the manufacturer's directions, which should be written on the box or available on the product website.
Wash the small carrots well and peel, if desired. I like them both ways.
Combine the vinegar, water, sugar and canning salt in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil and boil gently for 3 minutes. ( you don't want to boil hard and boil off the liquid too much)
Add the carrots and bring back to a boil. Then reduce heat to a simmer and heat until the carrots are half-cooked (about 10 minutes). If you want crunchier carrots, boil until the outsides are just soft ( so that they can still absorb the vinegar) and then remove.
Divide the pickling spice evenly between the 4 jars, placing it into the bottom. Fill the still warm jars with the hot carrots, leaving 1-inch headspace. ( that's one inch from the top) Cover the carrots with the hot pickling liquid, leaving a ½-inch headspace this time around . Remove any air bubbles by poking a knife through the carrots and liquid and adjust the headspace if needed.
Wipe the rims of jars with a dampened, clean paper towel and then place the two pieces canning lids on.
Process the jars in a boiling water canner for the following times- feet are above sea level: 0 - 1,000 feet - process for 15 minutes, 1,001 - 6,000 feet process for 20 minutes,and above 6,000 feet process 25 minutes.
Let cool, undisturbed, 12 to 24 hours and then check to make sure that the seals are set ( they will indent and POP loudly)
Let the carrots sit for a good 3-5 days before eating but they get better and better the longer they sit!
I would double or triple this recipe to make a good 8-12 jars if you are really going to make a mess anyways, just make more and store them!PLEASE NOTE that the nutritional calculator adds in ALL of the brine so the calories are inaccurate on this recipe!