|With Cheese and Sour Cream|
- 8 Baking Potatoes
- 2 sticks of Unsalted Margarine
- 1 cup bacon bits (I used Hormel's Real Crumbled Bacon)
- 1 cup Sour Cream (I used 1/2 cup because only half of the potatoes had it)
- 1/4 teaspoon Lawry's Seasoned Salt (I used a Sicilian salt blend that I love)
- 1 cup grated cheddar or jack cheese (I only used 1/2 cup, and used a Mexican blend that had both cheddar and jack)
- Green Onion (optional)
- Ground Black Pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 400°. Wash potatoes and cut a small "x" in the top. Bake for an hour and 15 minutes, or until they are completely cooked. Pioneer Woman suggests baking them on a cookie sheet, which I had never done before, but worked pretty well.
- Slice the sticks of butter into 1/4" thick pieces (you don't need to be exact), and throw them in a bowl.
- Add the bacon bits and sour cream to the bowl. I used two separate bowls, one with sour cream and one without. Just split up the other ingredients between the two bowls.
- As soon as the potatoes come out of the oven, slice them in half lengthwise. Pioneer Woman suggested holding them with a towel because they're so hot and it worked perfectly.
- Scoop out the insides of the potatoes into the bowl with the butter, bacon and sour cream. Be careful not to tear the potato skin, but if you do it will be okay. I left a little bit of potato behind, to give the shells a little bit of rigidity.
- Place the empty potato skins back on the cookie sheet.
- Using a potato masher, mix all of the ingredients in the bowl. I usually use a mixer to make mashed potatoes, but for some reason these taste better when they're a little lumpy.
- Add the seasoned salt and black pepper to the bowl, and continue mashing. You can also add a cup of the grated cheese or chopped green onion if you want.
- Fill the shells with the potato mixture. You don't need to be neat about it. I then sprinkled cheese on the tops of half of them.
- Bake in a 350° oven for 15 to 20 minutes (I kept them in for 20 minutes because I like the tops a little crispy).
- Apparently you can also freeze them in Ziploc bags. I haven't tried this, but I will next time because they're so delicious and would be perfect for nights I don't feel like cooking. Just take them out of the freezer and pop them in the oven.