These delicious baked bites are game day staples and a classic party appetizer. Instead of uncooked bacon, I use thin pre-cooked bacon (Hormel Black Label works for me). If you use uncooked bacon, make sure to get THIN CUT. This ensures that the peppers and bacon will be cooked through at the same time.Use gloves or two plastic baggies over your hands to scoop out the ribs and seeds from the peppers. Otherwise you may experience burning fingers from the capsaicin in the peppers.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil
Place the cream cheese, grated cheddar, garlic powder, onion powder, ground pepper and sea salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir together with a rubber spatula. Fold together several times to make sure all the ingredients are well dispersed. Cover and set aside.
Slice the jalapenos in half lengthwise. Put on gloves and scoop the seeds and ribs out with fingers, or use a spoon to scrape them out. Place the hollowed pepper halves on the prepared baking sheet.
Fill the pepper halves with spoonsful of the cheese mixture, heaping them a little higher than the edges of the peppers (don’t overfill or the cheese will bubble out).
If using uncooked bacon, cut the slices in half so you have 24 pieces of bacon. Wrap each filled pepper with a bacon half so that the ends of the bacon meet underneath the peppers (seam-side-down, so to speak).
If using precooked bacon, wrap one whole piece of bacon around each filled pepper so that the bacon ends meet underneath the peppers.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the bacon is browned and the peppers are softened.
Serve peppers warm with sour cream and chives. These are also great at room temperature.
Bacon can be crisped further under a broiler for 2 minutes. Watch carefully!Larger or smaller peppers will change the yield of the recipe. My peppers were huge, but were still fully cooked at 20 minutes.Bacon pieces can be secured with toothpicks prior to baking, if they don't want to stay put.