Set out the cream cheese at room temperature. Rinse and peel the potatoes. Quarter the potatoes (cut them in half, then in half again). Cut the quarters in half again, if they are large. Place the potato chunks into a large pot (6 quarts).
Add cold water to the pot, enough to cover the potatoes by one inch (starting with cold water instead of hot helps the potatoes cook evenly throughout.)
Place the pot over high heat on your stove. Add two teaspoons of salt to the water. Peel the garlic cloves and throw them in the pot. Cover the pot, set a timer for 25 minutes, and let the pot come to a boil, making sure to remove the lid when the water is simmering, so the pot doesn't boil over. The potatoes are done when you can easily insert a fork in them; mine took 25 minutes, but it will depend on the size of your potato chunks. You will need to drain the potatoes in a colander in the sink when they are done cooking.
While the potatoes are cooking, place 1 ½ sticks of butter (12 tablespoons total for a generous amount of brown butter; see notes) in a small or medium heavy pot, such as a stainless steel one. Try not to use a dark pot, or it will be hard to notice the color of the butter as it cooks. Place the pot over medium heat on the stove and let the butter melt. As the butter starts to bubble, lower the heat and stir the butter occasionally as it foams (watch the pot constantly so the butter doesn't burn.) Cook the butter just until it turns a caramel color (you can use your spoon or spatula to push away some bubbles to peek at the color of the butter.) It could take 15-17 minutes to brown and will have a nutty aroma. Immediately turn off the heat and place the pot on a cool burner. Transfer the butter to a bowl so it doesn't continue cooking.
When the potatoes are done cooking, drain them and return them to your large pot. Add six tablespoons of butter and mash the potatoes with a potato masher or ricer. Warm up the milk in the microwave and add it and the cream cheese to the potatoes, mashing and gently stirring to blend. You can do this over low heat. Don't overmash them. Add ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper to the potatoes and stir.
To serve, scoop some mashed potatoes onto a plate, make an indentation on top with the back of a spoon, and spoon some brown butter over the top. Garnish with parsley, if desired.
Store leftover brown butter in a sealed container in the refrigerator (it should keep for two weeks). It will solidify but can be reheated in the microwave. Refrigerate leftover potatoes separately. See notes for reheating instructions.
For the browned butter, you can get away with just one stick of butter (8 tablespoons) and have just enough...but I put 12 tablespoons in the recipe so there is plenty to go around.To ReheatTo reheat a single serving, you can scoop a little brown butter onto the potatoes and heat them covered in the microwave. To reheat a larger amount of leftovers, cover and melt some brown butter in the microwave separately from the potatoes, as it will take longer for the butter to liquefy. Reheat the potatoes in the microwave, covered.See the article that goes with this recipe for more tips and information.