Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Poke potatoes with a knife or fork, place on a baking sheet and cook for 1 hour.
Remove from the baking sheet, and allow to cool for about 15 minutes.
Once your potatoes are cooled, use a sharp bread knife and cut each potato lengthwise. Each potato should yield two potato skins.
Once you've cut all the potatoes in half use a spoon to scoop out most of the potato insides to make a little boat. You still want to have a thick layer of potato near the skin, but you want it to be slightly hollowed-out in the middle.
Turn your oven on to a high broil. Brush the potatoes with butter inside and outside and place them back onto the baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper.
Broil for 7-8 minutes until the insides get a bit crispy from the melted butter.
Remove from the oven and add a generous amount of shredded cheese into each skin, topping with bacon pieces.
Place back under the broiler for about 3-4 minutes until the cheese is nice and bubbly.
Remove from oven and top with chives. Serve with sour cream or ranch dressing. Serve warm.