Pepper Popper Fingers

Makes 2 dozen. Recipe is courtesy of Taste of Home.

1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened

1 cup (4 ozs.) shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup (4 ozs.) shredded Monterey Jack cheese

6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. chili powder

12 medium jalapeño peppers, stems removed, halved lengthwise and seeded

1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

2 tbls. ketchup

1/4 cup sliced almonds

1. In a large bowl, combine the cheeses, bacon and seasonings. Spoon about 1 tablespoonful into each pepper half. Dip tops of stuffed peppers into bread crumbs.

2. Place a small amount of ketchup at the end of each popper; top with a sliced almond to resemble a fingernail. Place in a greased 15-inch-by-10-inch-by-1-inch baking pan. Bake, uncovered, at 325 F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Editor’s Note: Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching your face.

Nutritional analysis per popper: 95 calories, 8 grams fat (4 grams saturated fat), 21 milligrams cholesterol, 141 milligrams sodium, 3 grams carbohydrate, trace fiber, 4 grams protein.