Start with baked potatoes.
How many you use will depend on how many people you want to feed. Each potato will make 2 whipped potatoes.
Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise, like so:
I forgot to mention that it is best to let the potatoes cool a bit so you don't burn your hands while you're handling them.
Now, scoop out their guts and put them in a bowl. A regular spoon works very well for this.
Melt a stick of butter or margarine...
and dip the empty potato shells into the butter.
Be generous. Make sure that whole thing is covered, dripping even, with butter.
Place the butter covered shells skin side up on a baking sheet. (I cover mine with aluminum foil to help with clean up.)
If so desired, now is a good time to season them with a bit of salt or garlic powder or both.
Place the skins under the broiler for 5 to 10 minutes, until they are crispy enough for you.
In the meantime, take the potato guts and mash them up.
Stir in (or mash in) some sour cream--probably about a cup. This is, once again, based on how many potatoes you use and how much you like sour cream.
Add some ranch dressing mix (I used about 2 tablespoons).
And top it all off with some cheese.
(Stir the cheese in. I don't know why I only took a picture of the cheese on top!)
Now, take your crispy broiled shells and fill them up with the mashed potato mixture and place those back on the baking sheet.
Top them all with a heap of cheese.
Don't worry if some of the cheese falls off of the potatoes and on to the baking sheet. In fact, I even put some there on purpose.
Because, when you bake them at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, they come out like this:
And that wayward cheese turns into crispy little bites like this:
P.S. I forgot to mention that this recipe is my dad's. He's a potato genius.