Baking cream cheese poppers in the oven makes for a quick and hearty snack or appetizer. Baked cheese poppers are jalapeno peppers stuffed with cream cheese and then breaded and fried or baked. They also can be wrapped with bacon and baked without breading. Either way, they are spicy, creamy and easy to make. Cooking cheese poppers requires something between them and the baking rack so that they don’t fall through. Aluminum foil is one choice, and a baking sheet is another.
Aluminum foil was invented by Richard Reynolds, who was a nephew of tobacco baron R.J. Reynolds. He began using it as a commercial wrapping material in 1926 and first marketed the shiny, thin foil to the public as Reynold’s Wrap Aluminum Foil in 1947. Flexible, versatile and easy to use, aluminum foil is manufactured and marketed by many other companies, though sales of Reynold’s Wrap continue to hold steady.
Baking sheets come in many forms and finishes, from completely flat and shiny sheets to those having raised sides and a dull or nonstick finish. Each kind of baking sheet is good for a different kind of baked good. For example, according to the experts at “Better Homes and Gardens,” a shiny baking sheet is best for shortbread and other items that should not be allowed to brown on the bottom.
Line your oven rack with a triple or even quadruple layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil before preheating the oven. Place the cream cheese poppers onto the aluminum foil about 1 inch apart. Turn the oven on to the temperature specified on the recipe or packaging for the cream cheese poppers. Add five to seven minutes to the cooking time to allow the oven to heat. Bake the poppers and then remove them carefully with tongs.
Pros and Cons
The benefit of a baking sheet is that it is rigid enough to slide in and out of the oven while the cream cheese poppers are on it, making it somewhat less likely that you’ll drop or crush any when removing them from the oven. The only real negative to using a baking sheet is that you have to wash it when you are finished baking the poppers. The upside to using aluminum foil is that you don’t have to wash it; when you are finished with the last batch of poppers, you just let it cool, wad it up and recycle it. The only downside to aluminum foil is that it is not rigid enough to slide out of the oven with the poppers on it and using tongs may cause you to drop or crush the odd popper.