slice a third off the top of each  jalapeño (12)

scoop out the seeds and flesh to hollow out each jalapeño

mix together the filling ingredients until well combined

fill each pepper with the cheese mixture and top with shredded cheddar (optional)

wrap each jalapeño popper in 1/2 slice of bacon  (not thick-cut) and secure with toothpick

Bake at 400°F for 20-25 minutes or until the bacon is crisp