Preheat oven and prep potatoes: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Scrub and rinse potatoes clean and pierce potatoes several times on each side with a fork.
Bake whole potatoes until softened through: Place potatoes in preheated oven and bake 75 - 80 minutes until fully cooked through (they should be fairly soft when squeezed). Remove potatoes from oven and reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Scoop out flesh of potatoes: Slice potatoes into halves. Use an oven mitt to hold potato halves and scoop potato flesh into a large mixing bowl (while leaving about 1/6-inch potato intact with the peel). Transfer empty potato peels to a 13 by 9-inch baking dish or baking sheet (see note*).
Mash: Mash potatoes with a potato masher until no longer lumpy (or pass through a potato ricer or food mill into bowl for seriously smooth potatoes).
Add liquids and season, stir: Add in half and half, sour cream, butter and season with salt and pepper to taste. Blend mixture together with a spoon (or with just briefly with an electric hand mixer) while adding more half and half as needed to thin.
Fill potato skins: Scoop mixture into potato peels. Sprinkle with cheddar.
Stir seasonings and sprinkle over potatoes: In a small bowl whisk together paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Sprinkle seasoning evenly over potatoes.
Bake to heat through and melt cheese: Bake in preheated oven until cheese has melted and potatoes are heated through, about 10 - 15 minutes. Sprinkle with bacon and green onions and serve warm.
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