These were very good and everyone enjoyed them. Your potatoes must be totally smooth, no lumps, even tiny ones, or they won't pipe through. It was very messy having to refill the bag also so I would suggest getting a large pastry bag or using a gallon bag. I will make again making sure they are super smooth, worth the work.
I made these ahead of time too. I have pastry bags and tips, so I loaded the prepared potatoes into 2 bags with different tips. I don't know if it was because they were in two bags and colder or if the tips made it harder but the piping, after sitting out for 30 minutes did not go well. I had some help from a guest but it was just too stiff to get them pretty. Next time, I'm going to actually pipe them ahead of time while warm and refrigerate the sheet pans if needed. I hated seeming frazzled to my guests. They taste great though! I took Holly's advice on the salt and pepper.
These potatoes were a nice change from the usual side dishes I might serve with a steak dinner. Because I wanted to be organized with little to do after my guests arrived, I prepared the potatoes the day before, up to the step where you pipe and bake. I put the prepared potatoes in a ziplock bag and refrigerated them overnight. About the time my guests arrived, I took the bag out of the fridge so they would be closer to room temp when I piped them on the parchment. I snipped the corner off the bag, piped them onto the parchment and baked. They were a big hit and appeared 'effortless' because I did all the prep work the day before. Next time I will season the potato mixture with salt and pepper to taste, and I will buy a pastry bag! Served these Garlic Duchess Potatoes with grilled filets and a Fall Salad of mixed greens, red pears, cramelized pecans and shaved Parmesan. Appetizer- mini crab cakes with remoulade.