This side dish is a simple way to add a bit of festive whimsy to your Christmas dinner.
Duchess Potatoes are usually piped into tall swirls, but this time I twisted the piping bag back and forth a bit. I tried out a bunch of fancy piping tips but in the end came back to a basic large star tip. Pipe the trees as tall as you can as they settle a bit as they cook. To make it easier to place the stars use a knife to poke a hole in the top of the trees after they come out of the oven.
I also skipped the step in the recipe below that has you brush melted butter on the piped trees; no matter how gentle I was it distorted the details. But if you have an awesome pastry brush go for it.
2 pounds russet or baking potatoes
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup butter, plus additional for topping
1 large egg
2 large yellow bell peppers, cut in half and cleaned
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper
Peel and quarter potatoes and place in a large pot of salted boiling water. Cook until extremely tender (time will vary by size of the potatoes, but expect to cook them for at least 20 minutes). Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
Add the butter and salt and pepper to taste, and mash the potatoes well. Allow mixture to cool for 10 to 15 minutes, until potatoes are not hot to the touch. Mash in the egg and beat thoroughly with a wooden spoon until potatoes are smooth.
Transfer potatoes to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe potatoes onto baking sheet in descending peaks to form Christmas trees. Brush gently with additional melted butter, if you can do it without smushin the trees.
While the potatoes are baking, use a sharp paring knife to cut small stars out of the yellow bell pepper.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Place a star on top of each "tree" and serve hot.
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(Images: Megan Reardon of Not Martha)