I made a batch of these, but since we don't like sweet pickles, I just left out the sugar entirely. I also used fresh jalapeno peppers sliced up in place of the red pepper flakes (a friend gave me a bunch from her garden and I didn't know what to do with them). My husband LOVED them! I thought they were pretty good, but the pickling spice was even a bit too sweet for my taste. I prefer more of a tangy, garlicky pickle and the pickling spice has too much of a cinnamon flavor. I'm masking another batch with more garlic and no pickling spice. We'll see how that goes!
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I made a batch of these, but since we don't like sweet pickles, I just left out the sugar...