Bad days, hard work, moments of weakness, we all have them. Sometimes it’s just hard to resist that fast food fix or the offered treat. My major guilty pleasure is Sonic Ched’R’Peppers. Give me a box of four cheesy, molten peppers and a cherry limeade any day of the week. They’ll burn a hole in the roof of your mouth and require you go to the gym later, but who cares? Oh, Ched’R’Peppers, my heart’s desire. I have literally been known to post the calorie count (330 for 4) on my refrigerator as a reminder of the possible damage. Because I am often known to buy two boxes. That’s 8 peppers. And feel disgusting for hours after. Two summers ago I decided I needed to learn how to make these suckers at home. I mean really, what’s in that cheese mixture, anyway? I think it’s probably best not to know. But guess what? Homemade cheddar peppers or jalapeno poppers or whatever you call them are a snap! And they’re oven-baked, so already, you’ve helped yourself out quite a bit. I got this recipe online and then tweaked it a bunch. Apologies to whomever I’ve plagiarized. Alternative recipe: Pioneer Woman makes fatty, bacon wrapped, grilled poppers. You probably need them in your life, too.
Ingredients: makes 10-12 poppers. There’s an awesome captioned gallery– that only goes backwards no matter what I do– featured below. Apologies.
- 5-6 medium sized, fresh jalapenos
- 2 oz. room-temp cream cheese
- full 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 1 or 2 scrambled eggs
- garlic powder, salt, pepper, seasonings of choice
- 350 degree oven
- Wearing gloves or only touching the outside of the jalapeno, slice peppers open lengthwise cutting all the way through the stem (these handles make breading them easier). Cut out seeds and whitish membrane, leave a little in if you can stand the heat. Pepper should look like little boats when you’re done. Warning: After handling jalapenos, do not touch your eyes or nose or your bits. This is important.
- Mix cheeses in a bowl with a fork. They should be room temperature when you do this unless you want a workout. Add spices sparingly, particularly the salt, and adjust to taste.
- Spoon cheese mix into individual peppers. Don’t overfill, just make the cheese level with the cut.
- Dip peppers in egg and then coat in breadcrumbs. I like Italian breadcrumbs for this.
- Place on protected baking sheet and bake a little less than 20 minutes. Check on them around 15 minutes.
- Enjoy! It’s half the calories so you can eat twice as much! Just kidding. Mostly.
- Warning: don’t eat the end near the stem. It’s very, very hot.