Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 large jelly-roll pans (approximately 17.25 x 11.5-inches in size) with parchment paper. Place the 24, half strips of bacon on prepared pans in a single layer. Bake 5-7 minutes, or until bacon has rendered some of the fat and just starting to brown on the edges, but still flexible. Drain on paper towels; pat to remove excess grease.
Using a 24-cup, non-stick mini muffin pan, line bottom and sides of each mini muffin cup with a half strip of the par-cooked bacon in a circular fashion, making a well in the center, folding or creasing if needed to fit.
In a large mixing bowl, beat potatoes, eggs, and 1/2 cup of the cheese with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy.
Transfer potato mixture to a large pastry bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe potato filling evenly into bacon-lined muffin cups in a spiral fashion (cups will be full and potato spirals will extend beyond the height of muffin cups). Sprinkle tops with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Let rest 5 minutes. Run knife around edges to remove from pan. Place on serving platter and garnish with chives. Serve warm. Makes 24.
Note: A plastic freezer bag can be used in place of a pastry bag and decorator’s tip. Fill freezer bag with potato mixture and seal. Using kitchen scissors, cut off a small corner of the bag, about 1/2 inch, and pipe potato mixture into mini muffin cups as directed.