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Twice-Baked Potato Casserole … Because, Why Not?

by Shannon on January 20, 2014

in Casseroles,In the Kitchen,Potatoes,Side Dishes

Oh, I think you should make this. I really do. What’s not to love about potatoes and cheese and butter and cream and bacon?

After church yesterday, we gathered with a few friends to watch the playoff game. Seahawks vs. 49ers. And, you know, we were pretty confident that we would come out on top. But still, it’s a good idea to have a lot of comfort food around just in case. Jay made some pretty spectacular prime rib, Kathy made her famous chocolate chip cookies, and I made my favorite chocolate cake and twice-baked potato casserole for a crowd. Win or lose, we were good to go.

We won. Which just made everything taste a tiny bit better.

Twice-Baked Potato Casserole (for 16)
Twice-Baked Potato Casserole (for 16)

Twice-Baked Potato Casserole (for 16)

Ingredients

  • 12-13 large baker potatoes
  • 2 sticks butter, divided
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 1 pint sour cream
  • 6 cups shredded sharp cheese, divided
  • one head roasted garlic
  • olive oil
  • 1 cup French fried onion rings
  • 12 slices bacon, fried to almost crisp and chopped small
  • green onions (about 6)
  • granulated garlic
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Scrub your potatoes well, pierce with a knife in two places, and bake in a 375 oven for one hour and 15 minutes or until fully softened.
  2. When about 35 minutes remain on the cooking time, cut a head of garlic so that the very tops show (cut about 1/4" off the tops), place on a square of foil, drizzle with olive oil, enclose in the foil (like a packet), and bake along with the potatoes during the remaining time.
  3. Let potatoes cool slightly, then cut each in half and, using a scoop, remove as much of the potato flesh as you can and place in a large greased casserole dish. Discard skins.
  4. Mash the potatoes and add one stick of softened butter, the cream cheese (which you have cut into small pieces), the heavy cream, and four of the six cups of shredded cheese. Mash, but not to the point of pulverizing the potatoes. It's nice to have a little texture in there.
  5. When you can handle the garlic, peel away each clove, squeeze out the softened garlic into your dish of potatoes, and discard the garlic peelings. Mix to incorporate.
  6. Add salt, pepper, and granulated garlic to taste.
  7. At this point, you can refrigerate the casserole until an hour before you plan to serve it (up to three days).
  8. When ready to cook, poke a few holes over the top of the casserole and pour the second stick of butter (which you have melted) over the top. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes @ 375.
  9. Add remaining 2 cups (or more) of sharp cheese, French fried onions, chopped bacon pieces, and green onions. Bake an additional 15 minutes or until bubbly and melted.
http://twigandfeather.com/2014/01/twice-baked-potato-casserole-because-why-not/

Note: There were 10 adults and 6 children at the gathering, and a lot of people had seconds, and I still brought home a few helpings of casserole. So you might want to cut the portions down for your family. Of course I don’t know your casserole-consuming abilities, so then again, you might not.

photo (18)

Just before baking, melt the second stick of butter and pour over the casserole. I poked a few holes here and there to help it along.

photo (15)

After about 30 minutes, sprinkle with the French fried onions, the remaining cheese, the chopped bacon, and the chopped chives.

photo (16)

Nice and bubbly.

photo (14)

A little mood lighting. Does that make you want a bite?

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