5-6 russet potatoes (about 2 lbs.)
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
½-2/3 cup milk
½ cup sour cream
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. garlic powder
Dash of cayenne pepper
4 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
3 green onions, chopped
3-4 strips bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled
Peel the potatoes. Chop into large chunks. Place the chopped potatoes in a large stockpot and cover with water. Cover and bring to a boil. Continue to cook uncovered until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 15-18 minutes. Drain well.
Return the potatoes to the warm pot. Add in the butter, milk, sour cream, salt, garlic powder, and cayenne. With an electric mixer, beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, adding more milk a small splash at a time as needed. Avoid over-beating.* Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Reserve a small portion of the cheese. Fold in the remaining cheese, green onions and bacon until evenly incorporated.
Transfer the potato mixture to a buttered baking dish. Top with reserved cheese. Bake at 350˚ F for 15-20 minutes, until completely warmed through and cheese is melted. Garnish with additional green onions and bacon, if desired. Serve immediately.
*I’ve heard many times that potatoes can become gummy when mixed with an electric mixer. This is the only way I’ve ever done it and I’ve never encountered that issue. Even so, I try to mix only as long as is necessary to achieve the smooth texture that I prefer.