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Monday, February 4, 2013

Creamy Double Cheddar Mac and Cheese

Whats better than warm, cheesy, macaroni and cheese on a cold winter day...?  NOTHING!  If you are like me, you hate that cinder block mac and cheese, lacking creaminess and a warm buttery breadcrumb top!  But let me warn you, this recipe IS NOT for those following a strict diet!  Two types of cheddar cheese combine to make this a tasty treat.  So dig in...It's OK to indulge once in a while!


16 oz macaroni noodles
4 tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
2/5 cups whole milk
1 tsp ground/dry mustard
8 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese
8 0z sharp extra light Vermont cheddar
4 oz Velveeta 2% cheese
1.5 tsp seasoned salt
1 tsp pepper
pinch cayenne pepper (optional)

1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup Sargento's double cheddar cheese
2 tbsp butter - melted


Cook macaroni according to package directions.  While the macaroni is cooking, use a grater to shred the extra sharp cheddar, sharp extra light Vermont cheddar, and 2% Velveeta cheeses.  Drain and rinse the macaroni and set aside.  Heat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a large pot melt the butter over medium heat until it begins to sizzle.  Add the flour slowly and whisk continuously until well combined; do not allow it to burn.  Stir in the milk and dry mustard and continue to cook, whisking constantly until boiling and thick.  Turn your heat to low and add the grated cheese, cooking and stirring with a spoon until melted (3-4 minutes).  Add the seasoned salt, pepper, and cayenne (optional) and taste.  You can season more to you taste if you like or add additional seasonings. 

Add the noodles and stir until well incorporated and spoon the mixture into a baking dish.  In a medium sized bowl combine the melted butter, panko, and Sargento's double cheddar cheese until well mixed.  Spread the panko mixture over the noodles, covering completely.  Cover tightly with foil and bake 25 minutes or until hot and bubbling.  Remove the foil and move the pan to the top rack.  Continue to bake uncovered until the breadcrumbs are browned.