Baked Jalapeño Poppers


Football season is officially here!  I started making these poppers for Scott and I last football season and for the first game last night he requested them again.  They really are so good, but beware, they are spicy!  I love this recipe because it feels like a decedent game day treat, but by using low fat cream cheese and cheddar and baking instead of frying, alot of calories are saved.  The panko perfectly crisps up in the oven and the cheese filling becomes melty and gooey.  Yum!  This batch was made using jalapeños from my parents’ garden too!  If you would like to try this recipe but are intimidated by the jalapeños substitute baby bell peppers instead!  I also like to serve these with some warm marinara sauce.

Ingredients:
1-8oz bar cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
10 jalapeños
1 egg
2 tablespoons water
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
Cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Beat together the cream cheese and shredded cheese with a hand mixer.  Then place in the fridge to chill while you prep the peppers.

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Slice the jalapeños is half long ways from stem to end.  Try to keep a piece of stem on each half of pepper because that will serve as the handle for dredging.

Once all the peppers are halved, remove the seeds and membranes, this will help cut back on the heat.  BE VERY CAREFUL! Wash your hands right after and keep them away from your face.  Your hands will have jalapeño oil on them and that will burn your eyes if you touch them right after handling the peppers.

PS… Thanks Dad for slicing these for me!

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Stuff each pepper with the cheese mixture.

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Set up the dredging station.  Pour 1 cup of panko breadcrumbs into a bowl.  In another bowl whisk together and egg and 2 tablespoons of water to make an egg wash.

Coat each pepper in the egg wash then immediately dredge in the panko, pressing the panko into the cheese.  The panko won’t stick too well to the bottom of the pepper, but it should completely coat the cheese stuffing.

Arrange all the breaded poppers on a baking sheet and liberally spray with cooking spray.  This will really help the panko crisp up in the oven.  Bake for 35-40 minutes until the panko turns golden.

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Sooo good!  Crunchy outside, cheesey delicious middle!  Enjoy!

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