Jalapeno Appetizer Poppers

 photo null_zps5cab4fd2.jpgWith the holidays arriving, buffet tables with assorted appetizers are always welcomed at gatherings.  Our family always called them "snick snacks."

Jalapeno poppers have become a favorite, and these are quick and easy to make. The recipe can be easily doubled or tripled. Allow for two or three halves per person.

Here's a link to some other snick-snack family favorites I serve at gatherings  for the holidays.

Jalapeno Appetizer Poppers
6 jalapenos, cut in half and seeded
4 oz. softened cream cheese
2 Tabs. chopped chives or green onion
4 slices thin-cut bacon
salt and pepper to taste
12 wooden toothpicks

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Soak toothpicks in warm water for 20-30 minutes to prevent burning while baking peppers.  Slice each pepper in half, lengthwise. Scrape out and discard all seeds and white membrane. (Wear kitchen gloves or wash hand thoroughly, as pepper residue can irritate sensitive hands, mouth or eyes if touched by hands.)  

 photo null_zps552122ee.jpgUsing a spoon, combine softened cream cheese, seasoning, chives or onion in a small bowl, then fill each pepper-half.  Slice each strip of bacon into 1-1/2 to 2-inch pieces and wrap one piece around the top of each stuffed pepper-half. Pierce a toothpick through the bacon and pepper to secure the bacon.

 photo null_zps7bd0e600.jpgTo bake, line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Arrange peppers filling side up. Bake until bacon is crispy and peppers are tender, about 25 to 30 minutes. 

If bacon isn't crisp enough, put under broiler to make crispier. Can be made ahead of time and refrigerated before baking. Serves 4-6.

Note: for variations, season cheese with Old Bay or add shredded cheese variations to the cream cheese such as cheddar or pepper jack.

Estimated cost: $1.60 or less; .40 cents a serving or less.

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