1Make mashed potatoes as directed on pouch, using 2 cups hot water. If desired, stir in a handful of shredded cheese or bacon pieces. Refrigerate 15 minutes to cool.
2Cover cookie sheet with waxed paper. With hands, shape 18 to 21 balls using 2 tablespoons potato mixture for each. Place on cookie sheet. Freeze potato balls 30 minutes to set.
3Meanwhile, in Dutch oven or deep-fat fryer, heat oil to 350°F. In medium bowl, beat egg and milk; stir in flour, salt and baking powder until smooth.
4In batches of 4 or 5, dip each potato ball into batter; tap off excess against side of bowl. Fry about 4 minutes, turning once. With slotted spoon, remove from oil; set on paper towels. Thread 3 potato balls onto each skewer.