Provided by: The Pioneer Woman
These little bite-sized wonders are as much a part of my Fourth-of-July celebration as the fireworks themselves. And they're almost as hot! My sister-in-law and I assemble scads and scads of them, and they disappear almost instantly.
- If you have them, slip on some latex gloves for the pepper prep. Cut jalapenos in half lengthwise. With a spoon, remove the seeds and white membrane (the source of the heat; leave a little if you like things HOT). Smear softened cream cheese into each jalapeno half. Wrap jalapeno with bacon pieces (1/3 slice). Secure by sticking toothpick through the middle.
- Fully assemble poppers up to 24 hours in advance. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to pop in the oven.
- Bake on a pan with a rack in a 375-degree oven for 45 minutes. You don’t want the bacon to shrink so much it starts to the squeeze the jalapeno. If, after 45 minutes, the bacon doesn’t look brown enough, just turn on the broiler for a couple of minutes to finish it off. These are best when the jalapeno still has a bit of bite to it.
- Serve immediately, or they’re also great at room temperature. Pile them on top of your Fourth of July burgers!