I love jalapeno peppers, and my favorite way to eat them is stuffed with cream and cheddar cheeses. Jalapeno poppers are typically grilled or fried. Grilling them is not always convenient, and I rarely fry anything for health reasons: physical health and mental health (for the mess frying makes). I came up with my own version that can be baked while still keeping a bit of the crunch that comes from frying. Angi at Schneider Peeps (one of my favorite blogs) asked me to share how to make them.
First you need to halve your jalapeno peppers and remove the seeds and as much of the membrane as you want. An emptier shell means more room for the filling. You will need 30-40 jalapeno peppers depending on their size. It is fine to do this step the day before.
Next combine 2 8oz packages of softened cream cheese and 8 oz of shredded cheddar cheese. I add in some salt since I use homemade bread crumbs. You can also add in any other of your favorites (bacon bits, sausage, etc). I like to stick with just the cheeses.
You can mix these in a food processor, by hand, or in a mixer. You just want everything to be well combined.
Optional: Have a cheese loving dog on stand by to eat any cheese bits that do not make it into the bowl.
In a separate bowl, pour some breadcrumbs. I use homemade bread crumbs from the end pieces of my bread loaves. Store bought breadcrumbs are fine, but I would go with panko breadcrumbs over the super fine ones.
Now you are ready to assemble your poppers. First step is to fill the pepper shell with the cream cheese mixture. You can pack it in tightly but try to keep it mostly within the boundaries of the pepper half.
Next you want to cover the cream cheese part completely in breadcrumbs. Smash them down into the cheese mixture and remember to cover the end.
You could bake them at this point. These are very freezer friendly though, and I always freeze them. Just layer them in a pan and freeze overnight. Once frozen you can store them in freezer bags for an extended period of time (a year or more).
When you are ready to bake them, place the poppers in a 350 degree for 15 - 18 minutes. The breadcrumbs do double duty. They give the popper a bit of crunch and also keep all of the cheese tucked inside the pepper while it bakes.
We are picking around 200 jalapeno peppers a week here. We use as many as we want and give some away. My dad also barters with a local butcher shop using some of the peppers. A new favorite of mine is candied jalapeno slices.
I keep having to make more as everyone who tries them wants a jar to take home.