1 pound shredded potatoes
24 quarter inch cubes of cheese (any variety - you can even use vegan cheese, if you want to make these vegan-friendly!)
Nonstick cooking spray
Electric cake pops maker
In a large bowl, sprinkle a little bit of salt (and any other seasonings you desire)* onto the shredded potatoes. Microwave on high for 3 to 4 minutes, until potato shreds just start to stick together. Stir.
Allow potatoes to cool slightly.
Take a pinch of the partially cooked potato shreds in your hand.
*note: It is important to season the potatoes before forming into tater tots. The crust on the outside of the tots will keep the seasoning sprinkled on at the end from penetrating to the middle, giving you bland and flavorless tots.
Variation: omit the cheese entirely for simple, giant tater tots with essentially zero fat. (Without the cheese, these tots can fit vegan diets as well.)
This was my third attempt at making the tater tots in my cake pop maker. The first time, I tried doing it with raw shredded potatoes. They were delicious, but didn't hold together in tater tot form. Next, I tried cooking the potatoes before shredding them. They held the shape well but the texture was off. (More like crispy mashed potato balls.) It appears that the secret is shredding the potatoes first and then partially cooking them for maximum effect.