Sweet and Spicy Cheese-Stuffed Jalapenos

Sweet and Spicy Cheese Jalepenos.JPG

A sprinkling of brown sugar on the tops of these spicy appetizers cut down on the heat and add an unexpected—and delectable—touch of sweet.

Half a pound of jalapeno peppers (about 10 or so)

1 4-ounce package cream cheese, softened

8 ounces cheddar cheese, grated

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 cup brown sugar

Half jalapenos length-wise and remove seeds and membranes. Wear plastic gloves while doing this step as the peppers can burn your skin. And be sure not to touch your face or eyes. For those who prefer less bite and less heat to their peppers, place peppers in a pan with a couple inches of water and boil for about 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels. (Those who prefer super hot and spicy snacks can skip the boiling.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9X13 pan or a baking sheet with cooking spray. In food processor or in medium bowl using a hand mixer, combine cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and chili powder until well combined. Spoon cheese mixture evenly into jalapeno halves and place in baking dish. Sprinkle brown sugar over tops of filled jalapeno halves.

Bake at 400 for 20 minutes. Turn oven to broil, and broil tops of jalapenos until just slightly browned. Remove from oven and ool just a smidgen before serving (so mouths aren't burned by the hot sugar or the hot cheese).

About 20 appetizers.