Fill a large pot ¾ full with water and place on the stove.
Clean your potatoes and cut into large quarters of the same size. Some of the potatoes may need extra cutting if they are larger than others. Just make sure you cut all the potatoes the same size so they cook evenly.
Place your cut potatoes into the pot of water and bring to a boil.
Once the potatoes have come to a boil, add a pinch of salt and the reduce heat to medium high and cook until the potatoes are easily pierced with a fork and they look like they are just barely starting to come apart about 10 minutes.
While the potatoes are cooking prepare your cream and butter by adding them to a microwave safe bowl.
Place the bowl in the microwave for about 1-3 minutes until the butter is fully melted and the cream is very warm then set aside.
Once the potatoes are done cooking, drain them and place them back into the pot they cooked in.
Place the pot back on the hot (but turned off burner) and toss them around for a minute to allow some of the water in the potatoes to evaporate.
Now remove your potatoes from the stove and add to a large bowl.
With a potato masher, mash up your potatoes until it starts to look somewhat smooth but still has some lumps.
Now pour half of your butter and cream mixture into the pot with the potatoes and with the potato masher, mash and mix it into the potatoes.
Once the cream and butter mixture is mixed in, add your salt, pepper and the remaining cream and butter mixture.
Now add ½ of your chopped chives.
Mix well again and then taste for seasoning. Potatoes soak up salt so you may want to add more at this point.
Place your smashed potatoes into serving bowl.
Optional: To prepare the topping add 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of cream to a small microwave safe bowl.
Microwave for 1-2 minutes until the butter is fully melted.
With the back of a large spoon, make a swirl around the top of the mashed potatoes. This is a small well to pour in the remaining butter and cream.
Now carefully drizzle the remaining butter mixture over your potatoes letting the butter and cream mixture fill the well you just made.
Sprinkle with your remaining chives.
If you want to make these ahead of time, see tips above in this post about the best way to do this.