This is a favorite, easy appetizer. Jalapeños may be prepared and stuffed a day in advance; simply cover and hold in refrigerator until ready to roast.
12 jalapeño peppers, roughly 3” long, halved and hollowed.
8oz cream cheese, softened
1 C grated, sharp cheddar cheese
1 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder
1/2 t smoked paprika
12 slices bacon – regular or thin sliced, halved vertically
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment or lightly spray with cooking spray.
Slice jalapeños in half; remove seeds and membrane. (Use caution and I recommend wearing gloves) If extra heat is desired, retain a few seeds.
Fold together softened cream cheese, (may be softened in microwave on medium power at 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval) grated cheddar and spices.
Spoon cheese mixture into each jalapeño half.
Wrap each stuffed jalapeño with bacon, starting and ending on top of the cheese mixture. Secure with toothpick, spearing through bacon and cheese mixture at seam of bacon.
Arrange on bakery sheet. Bake on center rack at 400 until bacon is crispy and browned. (20-25 minutes) May be broiled at end for added crispiness, if desired. Serve hot from oven. Makes 24 pieces.