Cooking Tip -A grapefruit spoon makes removing potato pulp easy and a “ricer”, if you have one, saves getting out the electric mixer.

Recipe can be made ahead of time & frozen. Yea!

One recipe uses cheese and the other does not.  Your choice since both are too, too good!
Ann always baked an extra potato or two to use for extra potato pulp, then discarded the extra skins.  This makes the stuffing very generous and appealing.  I had forgotten about the extra potato until after I had made the Twice Baked Potatoes you see in the photos.  So just use your imagination, and see those photos in your mind’s eye stuffed even higher with extra filling. This definitely qualifies as “comfort food”.   

4 extra-large Idaho potatoes (includes1 extra potato –read above)
Vegetable oil
5 T. butter
½ to 3/4 cup milk
¾ tsp. salt, plus extra
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Paprika for garnish
For recipe that uses cheese – 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese, plus extra for topping






Thoroughly scrub the skins of the potatoes so that the skins can be eaten, if desired.  Lightly rub some vegetable oil on the outside of the whole potatoes.  Place the potatoes on a baking pan and bake, uncovered, for at least 1 hour @ 400 degrees.  Test each potato for doneness by piercing with a fork for softness in the center.  Cook any potatoes longer, if centers are not yet soft.  Allow potatoes to cool just long enough to handle.  Split in half, lengthwise; then scoop out the pulp, leaving only the skin and a small amount of potato around the shell.  Discard the shells of the extra potato.   While the pulp is still hot, press it through a ricer or put it in an electric mixer bowl.  Beat in the other 4 ingredients or 5 ingredients, if making with cheese. Taste for salt and add, if needed.  Place the potato-skin shells on a spray-oiled baking pan and sprinkle with a little extra salt  Then, fill the shells with the potato stuffing.  To garnish, use a fork to make slight grooves in the tops of the stuffing, then sprinkle the plain stuffed potatoes with paprika for color or sprinkle the tops of the cheese stuffed potatoes with extra grated cheese.  Bake at 400 degrees until tops are lightly browned and potatoes are very hot inside.  Yield: 6 potato shells.

Mama Ann, as our children called her, was the mother of my husband, Joe.  Ann Elizabeth Corcoran Westbrook Harris was born in Troy, AL.  A truly lovely lady of the “Old South” and absolutely the best mother-in-law anyone could ever have!  She was greatly loved and admired by everyone who had the pleasure of knowing her.  This was one of her “signature” recipes, and it seems that endless numbers of these wonderful potatoes can be eaten when they are served, so make plenty!

A favorite story of hers was of an incident that happened when she was a freshman in college.  Ann didn’t want to take a Latin class that had been assigned to her.  She went to her adviser with some flimsy excuse for not taking Latin.  The adviser was very, very sympathetic, and told Ann that she would remedy the problem immediately.  The adviser then promptly re-assigned Ann to take a Greek language class!  Be careful what you ask for…..

Ann's daughter, Helen, sent this post after the recipe was published:" Mom sometimes put a "buffet" of topping to let folks add to them as they liked - shredded cheese, chopped green onions, sour cream, crumbled bacon, etc."


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