twice baked

Blue Cheese Twice Baked Potatoes

If you have young kids, you know how hard it is to get out on “special occasions” like New Years Eve or Valentine’s Day when everyone else is wanting to get out as well, babysitters are hard to come by!  A dinner at home can be just as wonderful as a night out.  A simple steak and potato dinner was perfect for us this year.

Instead of a regular baked potato as a side for our steak dinner on Valentine’s day, I decided to get just a little fancy and make twice baked potatoes.  Since Ben and I are both big blue cheese fans, these blue cheese laden potatoes seemed like the perfect choice.


I fixed these earlier in the day and kept them in the fridge until it got closer to dinner time, which makes these a great make-ahead side dish.  If you haven’t made twice baked potatoes before, they’re really fairly simple and easily flavored to your liking.  Bake russet potatoes, let cool for a while, cut off the tops, scoop out the insides, mix up with whatever you like, scoop back into the potato skins and bake again.

No matter what you’re going to mix in, always mix in butter, sour cream, milk or cream and salt first.  This makes for a smooth and creamy base.  From there you can add your choice of cheese, green onion, cooked and crumbled bacon, or herbs.  Make sure to taste and season as you’re mixing up the filling so that your potatoes are not underseasoned.

The blue cheese flavor is subtle but present and is a great compliment to a nice bite of perfectly grilled steak.  I’m so thankful to be married to a man who knows how to grill a steak and is happy to do it!  I used 2 ounces of blue cheese in the potato mixture and a few crumbles on top.

The recipe below is for two, so double or triple as needed.


Blue Cheese Twice Baked Potatoes

Serves 2


  • 2 russet potatoes
  • olive oil
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 ounces blue cheese, divided
  • black pepper, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Rinse and scrub potatoes under cold water, then pat dry.  Poke with a fork a few times, rub with olive oil then place on oven rack with a sheet of foil underneath to catch drips, and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes depending on their size.
  3. Let cool for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Cut off the top third of the potatoes and scoop out the insides into a large bowl, leaving some of the potato intact all around so that the skins can still hold their shape easily.
  5. Mash potatoes with butter, sour cream, milk and 1 teaspoon of salt until well combined and smooth.  Fold in 2 1/2 ounces of blue cheese, then taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
  6. Scoop filling back into the potato skins.
  7. At this point bake the potatoes again or store covered in the refrigerator until ready to bake.
  8. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F , place potatoes on a foil lined cookie sheet, sprinkle with the remaining blue cheese, and bake for 20 minutes if baking immediately, 25-30 minutes if baking from chilled.


Chocolate Almond Biscotti

Happy February!  Earlier in the week I shared this flourless chocolate cookie recipe and declared that I would be sharing more chocolate recipes as we get closer and closer to Valentine’s Day, a day that should be full of chocolate.  The name of this blog is Hottie Biscotti, but I’m fairly confident that I’ve only shared one biscotti recipe.  So I thought it only appropriate to make some chocolate biscotti.


Biscotti means “twice-baked”.  The dough is baked once in a log, allowed to cool slightly, then sliced into pieces and baked again creating a crunchy cookie that begs to be dipped into your hot beverage of choice.  Coffee is mine, but tea or hot chocolate would do just fine.  And they’re delicious eaten just as a cookie without any dipping.


This biscotti is full of almonds and chocolate chips, but isn’t too sweet, making it the perfect morning or afternoon snack.  They would be wonderful crumbled up over a bowl of vanilla ice cream.  They’d also make great little gifts.


This recipe is from Dave Lebovitz, a pastry chef whose blog I started reading a few months ago.  It’s a great mix of recipes, stories about life in Paris, cooking tips and restaurant reviews.  It’s been a fun change of pace in blog reading for me, since very few of the blogs I read are written by chefs, most are home cooks like myself.  Check it out and drool over some French food and wine, learn some things you didn’t know and grab some great recipes.

Chocolate Almond Biscotti

From Dave Lebovitz

Makes about 26 cookies


For Biscotti

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup good cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 egg for glaze
  • raw sugar or coarse sugar for sprinkling

For Chocolate Dipping

  • 4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer combine eggs, sugar and extracts and mix until well combined.
  4. Add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined, then add in almonds and chocolate chips and mix until evenly distributed.  The dough will be very stiff.
  5. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.  Divide dough in half and form each half into a log, about 8 or 9 inches long and 3/4 inch high.
  6. Transfer each log to the parchment lined baking sheet.
  7. Whisk egg and brush tops of each log, then sprinkle with sugar.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes.  Move logs to a cutting board and slice on the diagonal into 1/2 inch pieces.  A serrated knife works well for this.
  9. Place slices back on the parchment lined cookie sheet and return to the oven for 15-20 minutes, then flip cookies over and cook for another 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven, transfer to a cooking rack and let cool completely.
  10. You can coat one side in chocolate if you’d like to or leave them plain.  To coat in chocolate: melt chocolate and vegetable oil over low heat, stirring constantly until chocolate has just melted.  Remove from the heat and spread chocolate onto one side of the biscotti in a thin layer.  Move to a clean piece of parchment and allow the chocolate to set.