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Texas Twinkies (Brisket Jalapeño Poppers)

If you love a jalapeño popper, you’re going to love this Texas Twinkie Recipe, which is a jalapeño popper that's stuffed with smoked brisket, cream cheese, and wrapped in bacon! Spicy, meaty, smoky goodness. 

This recipe has instructions for baking these brisket jalapeño poppers in the oven or cooking them in a smoker.

Baked Texas Twinkies on a plate
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What is a Texas Twinkie?

A Texas Twinkie is a jalapeño popper that is stuffed with smoked brisket and cream cheese, then hugged by a slice of thick-cut bacon. This bacon-wrapped appetizer is baked until the bacon is crispy, the cream cheese is melted, and the jalapeño pepper is wonderfully roasted and softened.

Just 4 ingredients, but the flavor combination of smoky brisket, salty bacon, creamy cheese, and spicy jalapeños is OUT OF THIS WORLD.

2 Texas Twinkies stacked on each other

Admittedly, this is not the quickest appetizer to prepare just because each Texas twinkie needs a minute or two to be put together... but my oh my, your family and friends will LOVE these and devour them.

Texas Twinkies got popular because of the Hutchins BBQ joint in McKinney, Texas. And I hope it becomes popular in your world too! So give these a try. 

These brisket jalapeño poppers are a GREAT way to use up leftover smoked brisket

Baking vs smoking Texas Twinkies

I have instructions for baking or smoking these brisket jalapeño poppers. The upside to baking is that they bake in just 20-30 minutes. The upside to using a smoker is that the poppers come out EXTRA smoky, and that if you're hanging out outside with your family and friends, you don't have to go back inside to check on the oven.

However, the oven is a perfectly good option because the smoky bacon and smoky brisket gives these jalapeño appetizers a smoky flavor even without a smoker.

More jalapeño recipes

If you love the idea of these spicy Texas Twinkies, then you'll probably also love these roasted jalapeños, crispy fried jalapeños, these tuna jalapeño poppers, and these jalapeño popper burgers. So many ways to use this amazing little pepper. You can even make spicy pepper jelly from jalapeños!

Ingredients to make Texas Twinkies

Ingredients

  • 8-12 jalapeño peppers - try to pick out large jalapeños, simply because each one takes some time to put together, so you might as well have a LARGE Texas twinkie. But if all you can find are smaller jalapeños, then get a few extras because I guarantee people will be reaching for seconds!
  • 8-12 slices thick cut bacon 
  • 8-12 tablespoons cream cheese (1-1.5 blocks), softened to room temperature - the amount of cream cheese you need will depend on the size of your jalapeños.
  • 1-2 cups smoked brisket, chopped or shredded - the amount will also depend on the size of your jalapeño peppers. If you don't have smoked brisket, you can use any brisket you have, even leftover corned beef. The important part is that you have something meaty, salty, and shredded/diced finely.

Equipment

  • A sharp paring knife (a small sharp knife is easier to maneuver for cleaning out the jalapeños than a large knife)
  • Disposable kitchen gloves (these are a MUST for handling jalapeños!! You definitely don't want to get jalapeño oils and juices on your fingertips)
  • Optional: a smoker (or make these in the oven)
  • A baking sheet with a wire rack (only needed if baking the Texas Twinkies. The wire rack really helps crisp up the bacon on all sides and to let the drippings (aka excess grease) drip off instead of letting your Texas Twinkies soak in the grease)
  • Toothpicks (to hold the bacon-wrapped jalapeño together while it bakes)
  • A flat surface, such as a cutting board or a baking sheet long enough to lay out a piece of bacon (you can use the same baking sheet that you'll be baking on, if using the oven)

Instructions

Wearing disposable kitchen gloves, trim the stem end off the jalapeños. Using a sharp pairing knife, slice a straight line along the length of the jalapeño. Using your fingers, spread the jalapeño open so it has a V-shaped opening. If needed, you can cut out a little V-shaped opening to give yourself room to stuff the jalapeño. See picture below.

Use the paring knife to de-seed the jalapeño. If you want the Texas Twinkies spicy, leave some of the pith (the white parts inside). Otherwise, scrape them out carefully with a paring knife. Rinse the jalapeños under water to remove any stuck-on seeds. Use a paper towel to dab the jalapeños dry on the inside so that the cream cheese sticks to the inside. Your jalapeño are now ready for stuffing!

Jalapeño peppers cleaned out and rinsed

Recipe tip: Preheat your oven or smoker at this time. The oven should be at 400F. If using the oven, grab a baking sheet and place a wire rack over it. The smoker should be at 375F. If using a smoker, you can cook the Twinkies directly on the wire rack, or place a more closely-spaced wire rack in the oven.

Stuff the jalapeños: using a knife, stuff half of the inside of the jalapeño with cream cheese. Ensure there is enough as this will help the brisket stick.

Collage showing how to stuff jalapeños with cream cheese

Now stuff each jalapeño with shredded brisket.

Jalapeño peppers stuffed with cream cheese and shredded brisket

On a flat surface, lay out a slice of bacon. Place the stuffed jalapeño on one end of the bacon, perpendicular to the bacon. Wrap the jalapeño with the bacon and secure the ends of the bacon with toothpicks.

Collage showing how to wrap brisket-stuffed jalapeños with bacon

Oven method: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the Texas Twinkies on a baking sheet with a wire rack. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the bacon is cooked through and done to your liking. The more time, the crispier the bacon will be.

Smoker method: Preheat your smoker to 275°F. Place the Texas Twinkies directly on the wire rack. Allow to cook for 60-90 minutes, or until the bacon has cooked through.

Recipe tips and variations

→ You can mix together the cream cheese and shredded brisket in a bowl and use that mixture to stuff the jalapeño, instead of doing it separately. It'll save just a little bit of time, but personally, I prefer stuffing with cream cheese and brisket separately, I love the texture of the crisped up baked brisket.

→ If you're having people over who don't love spice, you can make a few poppers using sweet mini bell peppers instead of jalapeños. Same process, same cooking time.

→ If you don't have leftover brisket, then leftover carnitas or leftover corned beef are an okay substitute.

→ For a lighter appetizer, use half a slice of bacon per jalapeño and use a little less cream cheese.

If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!

Baked Texas Twinkies on a plate
Print Recipe
5 from 7 votes

Texas Twinkies (Brisket Jalapeño Poppers)

Just 4 ingredients and you have the most DELICIOUS appetizer. Use leftover brisket, and make these meaty jalapeño poppers in the oven or in your smoker—I have instructions for both cooking methods below!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free
Servings: 8
Author: Kate

Ingredients

  • 8-12 jalapeños - (try to pick out 8 larger jalapeños, or get 12 if using smaller ones)
  • 8-12 slices thick cut bacon
  • 8-12 tablespoons cream cheese - (1-1.5 blocks), softened to room temperature. The amount will depend on your preference and jalapeño size
  • 1.5-2 cups brisket - chopped or shredded - the amount will also depend on the jalapeño size

Special equipment

  • Sharp paring knife
  • Disposable kitchen gloves (these are a MUST for handling jalapeños!)
  • Toothpicks (to hold the bacon-wrapped jalapeño together while it cooks)
  • Smoker (if using a smoker, otherwise use a baking sheet and wire rack)
  • Baking sheet (if baking)
  • Wire rack (if baking)

Instructions

Prep the jalapeño peppers
  • Wearing disposable kitchen gloves, trim the stem end off the jalapeños. Using a sharp pairing knife, slice a straight line down the length of the jalapeño. Using your fingers spread the jalapeño open so it has a V-shaped opening. If needed, you can cut out a little V-shaped opening to give yourself room to stuff the jalapeño.
  • Use the paring knife to de-seed the jalapeño. If you want the Texas Twinkies spicy, leave some of the pith (the white parts) inside. Otherwise, scrape it out carefully with a paring knife. Rinse the jalapeños under water to remove any stuck-on seeds. Use a paper towel to dab the jalapeños dry on the inside so that the cream cheese sticks to the inside.
Stuff the jalapeños
  • Recipe tip: Preheat your oven or smoker at this time. The oven should be at 400F. If using the oven, grab a baking sheet and place a wire rack over it.
    The smoker should be at 375F. If using a smoker, you can cook the twinkies directly on the wire rack, or place a more closely-spaced wire rack in the oven.
  • Using a knife, stuff half of the inside of the jalapeño with cream cheese. Ensure there is enough as this will help the brisket stick.
  • Stuff each jalapeño with shredded brisket.
  • On a flat surface, lay out a slice of bacon. Place the stuffed jalapeño on one end of the bacon, perpendicular to the bacon. Wrap the jalapeño with the bacon and secure the ends of the bacon with toothpicks.
Oven baking instructions
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the Texas Twinkies on a baking sheet with a wire rack. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the bacon is cooked through and done to your liking. The more time, the crispier the bacon will be.
Smoker instructions
  • Preheat your smoker to 275°F. Place the Texas Twinkies directly on the wire rack. Allow to cook for 60-90 minutes, or until the bacon has cooked through.

Notes

Nutrition facts are estimated for 1 piece.

Nutrition

Calories: 274kcal (14%) | Carbohydrates: 2g (1%) | Protein: 15g (30%) | Fat: 23g (35%) | Saturated Fat: 9g (45%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 0.05g | Cholesterol: 66mg (22%) | Sodium: 570mg (24%) | Potassium: 266mg (8%) | Fiber: 0.4g (2%) | Sugar: 1g (1%) | Vitamin A: 463IU (9%) | Vitamin C: 2mg (2%) | Calcium: 22mg (2%) | Iron: 1mg (6%)

The nutritional information displayed is an estimate and not to be used as dietary or nutritional advice. Consult a nutritionist or dietician for nutritional info based on the exact ingredients you use.

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