Prepare the Jalapeños:
Cut the jalapeños in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and membranes. Wear gloves or wash your hands thoroughly after handling the jalapeños to avoid irritation.
Prepare the Filling:
In a mixing bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, crumbled bacon (if using), garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt, and black pepper. Mix until well combined.
Fill the Jalapeños:
Spoon the cheese mixture into each jalapeño half, filling them evenly.
Coat with Breadcrumbs:
In one shallow dish, place the breadcrumbs or panko. Dip each stuffed jalapeño into the beaten eggs, then coat with breadcrumbs, pressing gently to adhere.
Air-fry the jalapeño poppers at 375°F (190°C) for 10-12 minutes, or until the coating is golden brown and the peppers are tender.
Carefully remove the jalapeño poppers from the air fryer and let them cool for a few minutes before serving.
Optional Dipping Sauce:
Serve the jalapeño poppers with a dipping sauce of your choice, such as ranch dressing or a cool cucumber yogurt sauce to balance the heat.