Sunday, May 15, 2011

Twice Baked Potatoes: Just like The Pioneer Woman Cooks!

The Pioneer Woman Cooks!  was one of the first blogs I started to read (way back when).  I love her writing style and her photos of the food she cooks are drool-worthy! 

So far, I've only prepared one of her recipes.  Twice Baked Potatoes.

Now, most of you know that when I cook, I usually switch up the ingredients a bit.  Either leaving out a certain ingredient that I don't care for (mushrooms) or adding peppers and onions since I cook with a lot of peppers and onions! 

Well, when I make these yummy Twice Baked Potatoes, I follow the recipe almost exactly.  Each and every time!  They are that good.  They are pretty basic and easy too!  Making this recipe a keeper!  

My not-so-drool-worthy photo....but trust me, these potatoes are awesome! 

Twice Baked Potatoes

  • 8 baking potatoes, scrubbed
  • 2 sticks of butter, sliced
  • 1 cup real bacon bits
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 tsp.  Lawry's Seasoned Salt
  • 1 cup Cheddar Jack Cheese
  • black pepper
  • additional cheese for garnish
  • Bake potatoes in a preheated, 400 degree oven on a baking sheet for 1 hour, 15 minutes.
  • Place sliced butter, bacon bits, sour cream and seasoned salt in the bottom of a large mixing bowl. 
  • Remove baked potatoes from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. 
  • Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. 
  • Hold potato with a clean towel or pot holder and slice in half lengthwise.
  • Scrape the potato pulp into the mixing bowl with the butter, bacon, sour cream.  Don't scrape too much, leave a little "meat" on the skin.  Be careful not to tear the skins when scraping. 
  • Place the potato skin "shells" onto the baking sheet.
  • With a hand masher, mash the potatoes with the other ingredients in the bowl, until they are the texture you like.  I like the potatoes a bit lumpy (or rustic, as I like to say) for this recipe.
  • Add the shredded cheese (and pepper, to taste). 
  • Mix until well combined. 
  • Stuff the potato skin shells. 
  • Top with additional cheese.
  • Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes. 
  • Costco sells really HUGE baking potatoes that work great for this recipe. 
  • Use the real bacon crumbles found in the salad dressing aisle of your supermarket.  Don't use the crunchy dehydrated "bacon" bits.  Or, real bacon leftover from breakfast would work great too.
  • I mentioned that I almost follow this recipe exactly each time.  Sometimes I switch out the shredded cheese for whatever is in my cheese drawer.  Usually we have plain cheddar or colby jack or the combination of the two.  Taco cheese would be great in this recipe too!  
  • Depending on how full you stuff the shells (or if you ripped a couple when scraping) will depend on how many serving you get from this recipe. When I use the big potatoes from Costco, I usually get 12-14 stuffed potato shells.  These are big, so each potato shell is one serving.  Since it's just the 2 of us, (Grace won't try potatoes right now) I freeze the rest of the potatoes for future meals. 

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