Saturday, January 26, 2013

Mini Loaded Baked Potato Bites

When I was at the produce market picking up jalapenos for my Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers I saw some small creamer potatoes and I started thinking of all the wonderful finger foods you could make with them.  For today's post I made Mini Loaded Baked Potato Bites, a perfect make ahead finger food for parties.  I was torn though.  Last week a food website I was browsing posted mini shepherds pies only they used a pastry crust and did them in a mini muffin tin.  My thoughts were that they were totally missing the boat here.  Why not get the small creamers and make the mini shepherds pie right in the mini potato shells?  So watch for that one to be coming up soon!

These are great for parties.  They can be made ahead right up to the point where they are ready to be baked for the final time.  Just add a few minutes to the baking time if they are coming from the fridge.  These came out so good.  I barely had time to photograph the finished product before they were gone!

Mini Loaded Baked Potato Bites

20 small creamer potatoes
2 tablespoons butter, softened
4 tablespoons sour cream plus more for topping
2 tablespoons real bacon bits plus more for topping
1/2 cup coarsely grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup finely grated cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
pinch of cayenne
paprika for garnishing

Preheat oven to 400.  Cut a small slit in each potato so they do not explode like one of mine did.  Bake the potatoes for 20-25 minutes until soft.  Let them cool.

Cut each potato into 2 halves.  Scoop out the centers into a bowl.  Add the butter and sour cream.  Mash into the potatoes.  Mix in the bacon, the coarsely grated cheese, the garlic salt, pepper and cayenne.  Taste and adjust seasoning. 

Lightly spoon the mixture back into the potato shells.  Top each with some of the finely grated cheese.  Sprinkle with paprika. 

Place back into the 400 degree oven and bake on the top rack for 8 minutes and then turn on the broiler for 2 minutes more to lightly toast the tops. 

Let stand for 5 minutes after removing from the oven then transfer to a serving dish and top each with some sour cream, some bacon bits and a dash of paprika. 

Enjoy!

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