Wash and dry the potatoes, Pierce the potato 2-3 times with a fork. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake for 60-90 minutes or until they are soft when squeezed with a pot holder. Remove from the oven and allow to cool until you can handle them.
Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the flesh but leave at least 1/4-1/2 inches of potato in the skin. Save the potato insides for another use.
Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees.
Melt the butter in a small dish and add the parsley, salt, and garlic powder. Stir to combine.
Use a pastry brush and brush the inside and outside of the potato skins with the butter mixture. Place the skins cut side down on a baking sheet and bake 15 minutes.
Turn the skins over and cook an additional 5 minutes or until browned and crispy.
Top each potato skin with a generous amount of shredded cheese and crumbled bacon.
Place back in the oven for another 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Remove the potato skins from the oven. Top with a generous amount of sour cream and garnish with chives.
Sharon's Expert Tips:
I like to use Russet potatoes, but any potato including sweet potatoes will work. Small baby or new potatoes also work well to make tiny bite-size potato skins. Of course, you will need to adjust your cooking times.
To make ahead - after you remove the potato pulp, you can freeze the potato skins in a plastic freezer bag for up to two months or store in the refrigerator covered for 24 hours. When you get ready to make the loaded potato skins, remove from the freezer and allow them to thaw for a few minutes before coating with the butter mixture.
Once baked, Easy Loaded Crispy Potato Skins are best eaten right out of the oven. Unfortunately, they do not reheat well.
Remember, how I told you I usually use the top one-third of the leftover potato skins from twice baked potatoes to make my potato skins. Since many folks making this recipe might not have made twice baked potatoes first, the recipe directions assume you don't have leftover potato tops. I also usually freeze my tops until I am ready to make the potato skins.
Loaded Crispy Potato Skins don’t just make great appetizers, they also make a wonderful after-school snack for the big and little kids in your house. They could also do double duty and be served with a salad as a light lunch!
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