Twice Baked Potatoes

This recipe comes from Suzanne at A Joyful Chaos. You should go to her blog and see the beautiful step-by-step tutorial on how to make these.

5 lbs large baking potatoes
1/2 cup butter softened
1 cup milk
3 ounces cream cheese
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
*and I like to add those Salad Toppins into mine for added flavor and crunch. I don’t measure this part, just shake some in until it looks right.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Wash and dry potatoes.
Spray potatoes with cooking spray or rub with olive oil and sprinkle outside of potatoes with garlic salt.
Pierce potatoes with fork several times, wrap in tin foil, and bake on cookie sheets for 1 – 1 1/2 hours or until potatoes “give” when gently squeezed.
While they are baking, in a large mixing bowl add butter, cream cheese, salt and pepper and mix well.When potatoes are done, unwrap and cut potatoes in half lengthwise with a serrated knife.
With a large spoon scoop out the inside of potatoes leaving a layer of potato attached to the inside of the skin. This can be tricky. I insert spoon on one side, lift out, insert spoon on the other, and gently scoop.Put scooped out potato in mixing bowl as you go and mix to combine with butter mixture, adding skim milk as needed to make potatoes the consistency of slightly stiff mashed potatoes.
It’s at this point that I mix in the Salad Toppins.Holding the potato shells in the palm of your hand to support them, scoop and press potato mixture into each half of potato shell.
Return filled shell to cookie sheet.
Sprinkle cheese on top and pat it to make it stick to the potatoes.To eat now: return the ones you want to eat immediately to the oven and bake about 15-25 minutes until hot and melty.
To freeze for later: loosely lay plastic wrap over the tops and set the whole cookie sheet as is into the freezer. When you’re ready to eat one, remove from freezer, remove plastic wrap, place in microwave for 2 minutes. Ready to eat!

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