After Thanksgiving, AGOMYR was kind enough to inquire as to the results of a little experiment I conducted in my kitchen.
“How were The Pioneer Woman’s mashed potatoes?”
“Oh, AGOMYR, they were good. They have almost everything Grandma Glass of Milk’s recipe has. But they just weren’t the same.”
“Um, of course they weren’t.”
Because nothing is ever the same as your grandma’s mashed potatoes. Especially when you and your grandma have gone so far as to exchange Hallmark cards specifically about mashed potatoes.
I can tell you, however, that The Pioneer Woman’s twice baked potatoes are absolutely and completely too good to be true. There is not a shred of nutrition in them. But now and again, I’m okay with that.
These would be a delightfully decadent addition to your Christmas table, and you could make them ahead of time, and reheat them in the oven right before serving.
To make potatoes for 12, you will need:
8 baking potatoes, washed
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 sticks salted butter
1 cup bacon bits (fry your own!)
1 cup sour cream
1 cup Cheddar or Jack cheese (or a mix of both), plus more for topping
1/2 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons seasoned salt
3 green onions, sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the potatoes on a baking sheet. Rub them with the canola oil and bake for 1 hour, making sure they’re sufficiently cooked through.
Slice the butter into pats. Place in a large mixing bowl and add the bacon bits and sour cream. Remove the potatoes from the oven. Lower the heat to 350 degrees F.
With a sharp knife, cut each potato in half lengthwise. Scrape out the insides into the mixing bowl, being careful not to tear the shell. Leave a small rim of potato intact for support. Lay the hollowed out potato shells on a baking sheet.
Smash the potatoes into the butter, bacon and sour cream. Add the cheese, milk, seasoned salt, green onions and black pepper to taste and mix together well. (IMPORTANT: If you plan to freeze the twice-baked potatoes, do NOT add the green onions.)
Fill the potato shells with the filling. I like to fill the shells so they look abundant and heaping. Top each potato with a little more grated cheese and pop ’em in the oven until the potato is warmed through, 15 to 20 minutes.