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The good thing about Cinco de Mayo falling on a Saturday this year is that if you party too hard, you can sleep it off on Sunday. The bad thing about Cinco de Mayo falling on a Saturday this year is that you have an even bigger excuse to drink and eat your face off! I’m not too worried about drinking my face off (one margarita will do). But the spicy noshes I’m bound to make might be a problem.
My husband and I have appetizer nights every now and then. I’ll go to the store and load up on frozen appetizers. Then we’ll bake them up and leave them out on the table to grab and eat all night long. One of our favorite appetizers to include is jalapeño poppers. My husband’s pretty particular about them. He doesn’t like the cream cheese filled poppers. He only likes the cheddar filled poppers.
A recent trip to Trader Joe’s left me with quite an abundance of jalapeños. I needed one – just one – for a recipe and ended up with a whole bag of them because they were so cheap. Thankfully, they last quite a while in the fridge, so I was able to add them to a bunch of recipes. I had a few left to use up last weekend, so I got our Cinco de Mayo party started a little sooner!
Even though my husband’s pretty particular about jalapeño poppers (oh my gosh – we’re such food snobs!), I thought I could manage to persuade him by making a jalapeño popper stuffed bread. I was originally going to make it in the skillet like I did with my Rosemary Parmesan Skillet Garlic Bread. Then, I realized that it would be damn delicious as a pull-apart style monkey bread!
I started with store bought pizza dough. We always have it in our freezer for pizza night (every Friday night, baby!). I cut it into sections and let it do its thing while I mixed up a pretty awesome jalapeño popper inspired filling.
The best of both jalapeño popper worlds come together in a filling made with cream cheese, cheddar cheese, jalapeños, garlic powder, and a splash of Cholula for a boost of flavor and an extra kick. Stuff the filling into little dough balls, throw it all in a bundt pan, and cover it in more cheddar and jalapeño slices. What’s not to love about that?
- 1 store bought pizza dough, left to rise at least one hour on the counter
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, plus 1/3 cup
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 jalapeños, seeded and diced, plus 1 jalapeño, sliced
- Splash of Cholula, or your favorite hot sauce
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
- Optional: Ranch dressing
- Preheat oven to 450º. Generously grease a bundt pan making sure to cover all sides.
- On a lightly floured surface, cut the pizza dough into approximately 16 pieces. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, add the cream cheese, 1 cup cheddar, 2 diced jalapeños, hot sauce, and a little salt and pepper. Mix on medium speed until combined well.
- With your hands, flatten each piece of dough into a round disc. Then, spoon a little of the cream cheese mixture into the center of the disc and fold the dough over to make a nice, rough dough ball.
- Once all the dough is filled, begin layering the dough balls in a bundt pan.
- Mix the melted butter and the fresh parsley together. When the bottom layer of the bundt pan is filled, spoon a little of the butter on top.
- Then, sprinkle cheddar cheese on top and add jalapeño slices. Continue with layers until all of the dough balls have been placed in the bundt pan.
- Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the monkey bread is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- To remove the monkey bread from the bundt pan, use a butter knife to loosen the edges. Place a plate on top of the pan and carefully flip it over. If necessary, tap the bottom of the bundt pan until the bread falls onto the plate.
- Serve with a side of Ranch for dipping, if desired.
Despite using three jalapeños in this recipe, plus a dash of hot sauce, this really wasn’t too spicy. Then again, you have two different types of cheeses going on that help tone down the heat. It’s also really freaking good dipped into Ranch! Unless you’re opposed to Ranch dressing, I highly recommend it as your choice of dipping sauce!
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