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Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

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Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers are the perfect combination of spicy, creamy, and smoky flavors. These appetizers are ideal for parties, game days, or any gathering where you want to impress your guests with a delicious and easy-to-make snack. Let’s dive into the recipe step-by-step.

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Ingredients

  • 12 jalapeno peppers (approximately 3 inches long)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 12 slices bacon, cut in half

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Jalapenos

  1. Preheat Oven:
    • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  2. Prepare Jalapenos:
    • Slice each jalapeno pepper in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to remove the seeds and membranes. If you prefer less heat, make sure to remove all the seeds and membranes.

Step 2: Prepare the Filling

  1. Mix Filling:
    • In a medium mixing bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, shredded Monterey Jack cheese, onion powder, garlic powder, sea salt, and black pepper. Mix until well combined and smooth.

Step 3: Assemble the Poppers

  1. Fill Jalapenos:
    • Spoon the cream cheese mixture into each jalapeno half, filling them generously.
  2. Wrap with Bacon:
    • Wrap each stuffed jalapeno half with a half slice of bacon, securing the bacon with a toothpick if necessary.

Step 4: Bake the Poppers

  1. Arrange on Baking Sheet:
    • Place the bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers on the prepared baking sheet, making sure they are evenly spaced.
  2. Bake:
    • Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the bacon is crispy and the jalapenos are tender. For extra crispy bacon, you can place the poppers under the broiler for an additional 1-2 minutes, watching closely to prevent burning.

Step 5: Serve

  1. Cool Slightly:
    • Allow the poppers to cool slightly on the baking sheet before serving.
  2. Serve Hot:
    • Serve the bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers hot, garnished with fresh herbs or a drizzle of your favorite sauce if desired.

Cooking Notes and Tips

  • Handling Jalapenos: Wear gloves when handling jalapenos to avoid skin irritation. Be careful not to touch your face, especially your eyes, after handling the peppers.
  • Cheese Options: Feel free to experiment with different cheeses such as cream cheese with herbs, pepper jack, or even blue cheese for a unique flavor twist.
  • Bacon Choice: Thin bacon works best for wrapping as it crisps up nicely. If using thick bacon, you may need to bake the poppers a bit longer.

Variations

Sweet and Spicy Poppers

  • Add a Sweet Element:
    • Mix a tablespoon of honey or brown sugar into the cream cheese filling for a sweet and spicy flavor combination.

BBQ Poppers

  • BBQ Flavor:
    • Brush the bacon-wrapped poppers with a layer of BBQ sauce during the last 5 minutes of baking for a smoky BBQ flavor.

Ranch Poppers

  • Ranch Flavor:
    • Add a tablespoon of ranch seasoning mix to the cream cheese filling for a cool and tangy twist.

Serving Suggestions

With Dips

  • Ranch Dressing:
    • Serve with ranch dressing for dipping.
  • Blue Cheese Dressing:
    • Pair with blue cheese dressing for an extra creamy dip.
  • Sour Cream:
    • Serve with a side of sour cream for a tangy complement.

With Drinks

  • Cold Beer:
    • These poppers pair perfectly with a cold beer.
  • Margaritas:
    • Serve with margaritas for a festive touch.

FAQs

Q: Can I make these poppers ahead of time? A: Yes, you can prepare the jalapeno poppers ahead of time. Assemble them and store in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before baking. Bake just before serving for best results.

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Q: How do I store leftovers? A: Store any leftover poppers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven at 350°F (175°C) until warmed through.

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Q: Can I freeze these poppers? A: Yes, you can freeze the assembled (but unbaked) poppers. Place them on a baking sheet and freeze until solid, then transfer to a freezer-safe bag or container. Bake from frozen, adding a few extra minutes to the baking time.

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Q: What if I don’t have bacon? A: If you don’t have bacon, you can use prosciutto or pancetta as a substitute.

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Q: Can I grill these poppers? A: Yes, you can grill the bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers over medium heat, turning occasionally, until the bacon is crispy and the jalapenos are tender.

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Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers are a delicious and crowd-pleasing appetizer that combines spicy jalapenos, creamy cheese filling, and crispy bacon. Whether you’re hosting a party, enjoying game day, or simply craving a savory snack, these poppers are sure to impress. Enjoy making and sharing this flavorful dish with your family and friends!