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Dorothy Dean presents: Loaded twice-baked potatoes perfect for game day fun

UPDATED: Wed., Oct. 18, 2017, 10:37 a.m.

Loaded twice-baked potatoes are easy for potlucks and are great for appetizers – especially during football season. (Audrey Alfaro / Audrey Alfaro/For the SR)
Loaded twice-baked potatoes are easy for potlucks and are great for appetizers – especially during football season. (Audrey Alfaro / Audrey Alfaro/For the SR)

I’m a lover of all things potato. Mashed. Baked. Fried. Scalloped. You name it, I love it.

And with football season here, you need a potato recipe that’ll have your couch full of fans – fans of your culinary skills, that is.

You need twice baked potatoes, the heavenly creation of a baked potato filled with mashed potatoes, then baked again. The combination has me swooning.

I take my twice-baked potatoes to another level by loading them with not only butter, but cream cheese, sour cream, cheddar, green onions and bacon, and then topping them with even more cheese and bacon – because that’s what all things in life should be topped with.

A bite holds an explosion of flavors and textures. There’s crispy skin with the creamy potatoes, bits of salty bacon, melted gooey cheese and the perfect amount of bite from the green onions.

These loaded twice-baked potatoes make a hearty side dish, pairing well with just about anything. They’re also easy for potlucks and are great for appetizers.

Another plus is that they can be made ahead of time. You can have them ready a day in advance or the morning of the big game. When ready to serve, just top with cheese and bacon, and bake until warmed through.

Loaded Twice Baked Potatoes

4 large or 6 medium baking potatoes

3 tablespoons olive oil

Coarse salt

4 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup cream cheese

1/4 cup milk

8 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 cup shredded cheddar, divided

8 green onions, chopped, divided

To taste: salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika

Set oven to 400 degrees. Wash potatoes and pat dry. Cut a small slit in each potato. Coat with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt. Place potatoes directly on oven rack and bake for 1 hour or until tender.

Using tongs, carefully remove potatoes from oven. Turn oven down to 350 degrees. (Grab a kitchen towel for the next step, you’ll want to hold the potatoes in it, as they’ll be hot.) Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and remove potato flesh into a medium size bowl. Be sure to leave a thin wall of flesh to keep skin from ripping.

Add the butter, sour cream, cream cheese, milk, half of the bacon, half of the shredded cheddar and half of the green onions to potatoes and mash until creamy. Season to taste with salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika.

Using a spoon or piping bag, fill skins evenly with potato mixture. Place on baking sheet and top with remaining cheese, bacon crumbles and green onions. Return to oven and bake for 15 minutes.

Serve hot with sour cream and salsa.

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