Here’s wishing you a healthy and happy New Years! With so much success baking the persimmon tart with puff pastry, we decided to bake again. Yes, dear readers, our second baking post in 8 months! With extra Pepperidge Farms puff pastry sheets provided to us as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemasters program and some items we had in the fridge, we threw together a healthier non-fried version of the classic jalapeno poppers–but with some twists. Instead of coated in breadcrumbs and fried, we decided to lovingly wrap them in a blanket–a puff pastry blanket. Another addition was some roasted garlic that we had left over.
12 medium size jalapenos (choose straight ones with stem on)
8 oz. light cream cheese, softened at room temperature
3/4 cup finely shredded sharp chedder and monterrey jack
4 cloves of roasted garlic (use more or less according to taste)
3 strips of bacon, cut into small pieces, fried and drained
24 puff pastry squares roughly 2.5 x 2.5 inches
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Fry up the bacon bits until crispy–discard oil and drain on paper towel.
Split the jalapeno pepper lengthwise and core the seeds and membrane (be careful not to touch the seeds and membrane too much–use gloves or a spoon; you can leave in a bit of membrane/seeds for an extra kick).
In mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, shredded cheese, roasted garlic, and bacon bits. Mix well–the roasted garlic should be soft and easy to work into the mixture.
Stuff each half of the jalapenos with the mixture. Place the jalapeno diagonally on the puff pastry and wrap the puff pastry around the jalapeno. Pinch the edges together tightly and top with additional shredded cheese.
Leave enough space between each popper for it to puff 🙂 Bake in a baking sheet lined with foil for about 12 minutes or until golden brown.
*Cooks notes: To roast a whole garlic bulb, cut off 1/4 to 1/2 inch off the top of the bulb, drizzle with olive oil, wrap in aluminum foil and roast in 400 degree oven about 30 minutes or until browned and caramelized. This can be made in advance.
Go ahead, grab one. Or two or four. The light and flaky puff pastry embracing the cheesy, bacon-y, garlic-y roasted jalapeno popper was a delight! Definitely a great and easy twist on a traditional appetizer. No messy egg and breadcrumbs. No deep frying. Try this at the next Superbowl party. Dare we say better than the original? Yes!!
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