The Super Bowl is just a week away and I must admit, I am not into it this year.  In my mind, it’s our former beloved quarterback versus the team from Macklemore’s hometown.  Seriously, that’s the full extent of my interest.  I’d rather spend my time in the kitchen making some fab bites for game time snacking, and probably just stay in the kitchen to eat them.  And since I would rather spend my time in the kitchen, why not go all out with this fancy pants version of jalapeño poppers?  Filled with honeyed goat cheese and drizzled with a hibiscus habanero glaze, these take the idea of a jalapeño popper to a whole new level.  One of my favorite local restaurants has this dish as an appetizer on their menu, and I have been aching to try recreating it at home.

Now if I lost you somewhere around the title because you were thinking these sound way too involved, yeah – they are more involved than chips and dip, I grant you.  But, they took way less time than I was expecting…I’d say about 45 minutes from start to finish, and the final result is so completely worth it.  I chose to oven fry these because I prefer it, but you could fry them the traditional way if you like.  Also, the hibiscus in the glaze is optional – it definitely adds something, but they will still be delicious if you aren’t able to find dried hibiscus flowers.  I ordered online because I didn’t feel like searching through several stores to find them.  Whether you try them for the big game or some other time, I hope you do try them because I have a feeling you’ll love them as much as I do.

Looking for more Super Bowl snacking inspiration?  Be sure to check the menu builder page – I pulled together some of my favorite game day foods for your easy access!

  • Yield 12-14 servings


For the jalapeños:
6-7 medium to large jalapeños
1 large egg
½ cup buttermilk
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
30 saltine crackers
4 cups kettle-cooked potato chips
3 tbsp. vegetable or canola oil
8 oz. honeyed goat cheese, softened

For the glaze:
6 tbsp. water
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp. dried hibiscus flowers
2 habanero peppers, seeded and finely minced**
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. honey


  • 01

    Preheat the oven to 450˚ F.  Stem the jalapeños and slice in half lengthwise.  Scrape out the seeds and ribs with a small spoon and discard.*  In a medium bowl, beat the egg and buttermilk together.  Whisk the flour, salt and pepper into the buttermilk mixture.  Combine the saltines and potato chips together in a food processor and pulse until finely ground.  Place half of the crumb mixture in a second shallow baking dish; reserve the other half.

  • 02

    Working one at a time, dip the jalapeño halves in the buttermilk mixture, allowing the excess to drip back into the bowl, and then dredging in the crumb coating, turning to coat evenly.  When the crumb mixture is low, add the reserved crumb mixture to the dish for dredging the remaining jalapeños.  Transfer the breaded peppers to a plate and set aside.

  • 03

    Pour the oil onto a rimmed baking sheet.  Transfer to the oven and heat just until smoking, about 8 minutes.  Tilt the heated sheet to coat evenly with the oil.  Lay the jalapeños in a single layer on the oiled baking sheets.  Bake, flipping the peppers halfway through baking, until golden brown on both sides, about 15 minutes total.

  • 04

    While the oil is heating and the peppers are baking, make the glaze.  Combine the water, brown sugar, hibiscus flowers, habanero, and honey in a small saucepan.  Warm over medium-high heat just until the sugar has dissolved.  Lower the heat to medium-low and continue to cook until the syrup has thickened, about 5-8 minutes.  Remove from the heat.  Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve.

  • 05

    When the jalapeños are well browned on both sides, flip cut side up and fill each pepper with some of the honeyed goat cheese. (I used a pastry bag fitted with a plain round tip for this, and it made filling the peppers quick and easy.)  Return the pan to the oven and bake 3-5 minutes more, until the goat cheese is warm and melty.  Transfer the warm peppers to a serving dish and drizzle with the glaze.  Serve immediately.

  • 06

    *The seeds and ribs are where the heat of the jalapeño lies, so if you want a lot of heat, leave some of them in.

    **If you fully ribbed and seeded the jalapeños, the habaneros are the main source of heat in this dish.  For extra heat, use additional habaneros when making the glaze.