8 fresh jalapeños
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
8 slices thin bacon, cut in half crosswise

Cut the chiles in half lengthwise; scrape out seeds and membranes*. Fill each half with cream cheese, but do not mound it. Four ounces should be just about the right amount for 8 average size jalapeño halves. If you have extra large chiles, make sure you have a full 8 ounces of cream cheese on hand. Wrap each with 1/2 slice raw bacon, making sure to start with the end on the bottom of the chile. Stretch the bacon slightly to make it go all the way around each chile once (see photo below), then tuck ends underneath. Place cream cheese side up on foil-lined baking sheet. These can be assembled and chilled until just before baking and serving. Bake at 375º 20-25 minutes. If bacon isn't quite done, broil a few more minutes to brown.

Makes 16 servings
Freezing not recommended

* I found that my lemon zester was just about the right size for scraping out the seeds. Its somewhat sharp edges worked well to dig out the membranes too.

Per Popper: 45 Calories; 4g Fat; 2g Protein; 1g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; .5g Net Carbs
Per 2 Poppers: 90 Calories; 8g Fat; 3g Protein; 1g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 1g Net Carbs

Everyone enjoyed these. I think the cream cheese could use some kind of flavoring mixed into it, but they were very good dipped in Cilantro Pepita Dressing & Dip. Note the tip about wrapping the bacon. I found that if I started with the end on the top, the bacon would unwrap during baking, so be sure to have both ends tucked under the jalapeños. I baked mine 20 minutes and then broiled them 4-5 minutes. The chiles were just tender and the bacon was nearly crisp. I think it's important to use thinly sliced bacon for these. Thick cut bacon wouldn't get done before the chiles are overdone. Here's what they look like before baking:

I got an email from someone named Lori who came up with a brilliant idea. She was having trouble getting the bacon as crisp as she'd like it so she suggested cooking the bacon first, crumble it and either mix it into the cream cheese or sprinkle the bacon bits over the top. If you're going to make this this way, only bake them for about 10-15 minutes or until hot and the chiles have softened slightly. If you bake them much longer, the cream cheese will bubble over. Thanks for the idea, Lori!

The photo below shows what they look like with crumbled bacon on top. This shot is before baking. I also mixed some chopped chives and a little Spicy Seasoning Salt into the cream cheese. I discovered a trick to putting the bacon on the top without it falling off. Instead of sprinkling it on, I picked up the cream cheese stuffed chiles, turned them over and pressed them cheese-side down into the crumbled bacon.

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