The Big Cheese-y

Yep, The Big Cheese-y.

That’s what I wanted the headline on the email accompanying this blog to read. I thought it was cute – you know, a nifty cross between The Big Cheese and The Big Easy.

But when I ran it past my Web teammates? THUD. Lead balloon, big time.

So nanananapoopoo, Webbies – it’s headlining this blog instead.

Where it’s absolutely apropos: what could be cheesier, or easier, than that classic comfort-food favorite, mac and cheese?

The following version is beefed (cheesed?) up with Vermont cheese powder, and a crunchy topping of garlicky, buttery, herbed Panko bread crumbs. It’s mac and cheese with attitude.

But despite the fancy treatment, it’ll still make you want to break out the Wonder bread to mop the plate, and stir up some Jell-O with Reddi-wip for dessert.

And ONLY if you finish your supper can you watch Leave It to Beaver.

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Macaroni and cheese doesn’t HAVE to be made with elbows, you know. Any tubular shape (the better to fill itself with yummy sauce) is appropriate. Pictured above is cavatappi, a devil-may-care spiral. Ditalini, penne, ziti, rigatoni, “super elbows” (the extra-large ones), even wagon wheels are a good choice for mac & cheese.

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And here’s my favorite cheese: Cabot, made by a farmers’ co-op right here in Vermont. Cabot offers delicious low-fat cheeses (my breakfast of choice); plus their signature cheddar in cool/wacky flavors like chili-lime; or horseradish; or hot Habanero, or Tuscan herb & spices.

Since mac and cheese derives nearly all its flavor from the cheese, best to go with the best.

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You know Kraft macaroni and cheese in a box?  If you answer “no” to this question, where have you been for the past 40 years?! As my 20-something son said recently, “Intimate familiarity with Kraft macaroni and cheese is a requirement for graduating from college.”

Me, I make Kraft macaroni and cheese (or more likely, its cheaper, private-label stand-in), then stir in sliced hot dogs and sautéed pepper and onions. Go ahead, laugh! We all have our deep-dark secret food pleasures…

Anyway, the “secret ingredient” in that blue box is orange cheese powder, a.k.a. Cheese Sauce Mix. And here’s what’s in it, according to the side of the box: whey, milkfat, milk protein concentrate, salt, sodium tripolyphosphate, contains less than 2% of citric acid, lactic acid, sodium phosphate, calcium phosphate, milk, yellow 5, yellow 6, enzymes, cheese culture.

We like to add Vermont Cheese Powder (pictured above) to our mac and cheese, for extra flavor. Here’s what’s in it: cheddar cheese (cultured milk, salt, enzymes), whey, dry buttermilk, salt, disodium phosphate.

Oh, and by the way – if you’re anxious for some cheese powder-jacked mac RIGHT NOW, Cabot makes a yummy white cheddar powder called Cheddar Shake, available in many supermarkets nationwide.

Wow, now I’m REALLY hungry – break out the hot dogs and onions! Let’s make mac and cheese.

Start by preheating the oven to 350°F. Grease a 1 1/2 to 2-quart baking dish, or four 1 1/2 to 2-cup ramekins.

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Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente (slightly firmer than you would normally eat it). Drain and rinse with cool water. Set aside.

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In a large saucepan set over medium heat, whisk together 1/4 cup Signature Secrets or King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, 2 3/4 cups milk, and 1/2 cup Vermont cheese powder. The cheese powder is optional; use it if you like extra-cheesy mac and cheese.

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You’re going to think, “Man, this was a big mistake. This dry stuff is NEVER going to dissolve in the milk.” Trust me; it does. Whisk till fairly smooth, and bring the mixture to a boil.

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Turn the heat off, and add 2 cups shredded sharp (or extra-sharp) cheddar cheese. Stir to melt the cheese.

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Pour the cheese sauce over the cooked pasta.

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Looks like a lot of sauce, eh? Don’t worry; as it bakes, everything will tighten up.

Spoon the pasta and sauce into the baking dish(es). I’ll be using a 9” x 13” stoneware pan; it’s attractive at the table, and stoneware keeps the mac and cheese nice and hot.

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Next, get your crumb topping ready. Adding oil to bread crumbs encourages them to bake up nice and crisp. I like either of these two tasty oils: garlic oil on the left, Italian herb dipping oil on the right. We sell the garlic oil; the Italian dipping oil, you’re on your own; check out your favorite gourmet shop.

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Measure out 1 1/2 cups Japanese panko (coarse bread crumbs), or homemade crumbs made from stale bread. Try to avoid using those sawdust-y canned crumbs; make a habit of grinding stale bread in your food processor, bagging, and freezing till you need crumbs.

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Mix the crumbs with 2 teaspoons Pizza Seasoning (above), or a mixture of dried rosemary and thyme.

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Moisten the crumbs with 4 tablespoons melted butter, and 2 teaspoons garlic oil, or the olive oil of your choice.

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Sprinkle the seasoned crumbs over the pasta and cheese.

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Bake the casserole for 25 to 35 minutes.

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It should be bubbly, and the top will be lightly browned.

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Like this.

Remove the mac and cheese from the oven.

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Serve hot.

Our King Arthur Web team does a lot of usability testing in the course of updating kingarthurflour.com. So we decided to do a private taste test. Some would call this selfish; we prefer to think of it as a thorough test; no A/B split, but multiple random samplings.

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Cheese, mac, crumbs – lookin’ good!

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Obviously tasting good, too.

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And the results of the test? SOME good!

Ohhhh… you mean we were supposed to save some?

Read, rate, and review (please!) our recipe for Garlic-Herb Mac & Cheese.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

  1. Mrs. Hittle

    Yum! Several thoughts have come into my head as i was reading this.

    1) i love making mac & cheese with Cabot’s pepperjack! i haven’t been able to find it lately, but i’ll just have to try other stores. That is really good mac & cheese!
    2) Your recipe is pretty similar to mine, except i don’t bake mine and i usually use cornstarch rather than flour. We love this stuff!
    3) Thanks for the idea of mixing oil into the breadcrumbs to make them crispier. i’ll have to give that a try next time i top something with bread crumbs.

    Reply
  2. Lish

    We have made this 3 times since we saw the recipe in your catalogue. It is tremendously good. We love the pizza seasoning and the garlic oil in it. Haven’t tried the Italian dipping oil in it yet, but love it for sourdough dipping. Didn’t you used to carry it? Anyway this is by far the best and easiest baked mac and cheese recipe I have ever made. It is also equally good with the Cabot 75% light, and with less butter in the crumbs for a slightly less guilty pleasure. We have even made it with whole wheat pasta with good results. My babies get very excited when they get their own ramekin of this mac and cheese. Yum-o!

    Yum-o is right, Lish – we’ve made this several times lately, too – “just to be sure” it’s good; to take another picture; to try a new pan – all kinds of reaosns why we HAVE to try it again! Glad you like it – and yes, we used to carry the Italian dipping oil, but alas, no more… PJH

    Reply
  3. Ricardo Neves Gonzalez - Petrópolis - R.J., BRAZIL

    Here in Petrópolis, Brazil, we have 2 major colonies of settlers. One of Germanic people, the major one, and another of Italians who loved pasta, pizzas and it´s variations.

    Me, particularly, loves those Italian dishes, but i could mention that really those bread crumbs are not common here. I´d never seen those crumbs over the pastas here!

    And it´s a great coincidence that i´d baked today a Philippine recipe of bread here that carry on top some bread crumbs. This bread turns excellent in spite of it´s simplicity. The name of the bread is ´Pan de Sal `, and my baby son Renzo, loved the bread a lot!!!
    I think you could try this delicious bread in a future post!

    Anyway, i´ll test your pasta with cheese and top crumbs next time i have lunch here!!

    The bread crumbs add a very nice crunch and texture-I hope you will enjoy it. Joan D@bakershotline

    Reply
  4. Emma

    I will be making this. Whenever I try making homemade mac and cheese, I end up with lumps of solid milk or something in mine, and a really runny sauce. This recipe looks pretty foolproof. Thanks!

    Reply
  5. jenna

    BUSTED! Are those Oreos I see? Wag o’ the finger for the KA kitchens. :D

    HA! Good eyes, and I DID think of that when I took the pic. They are, in fact, Peppermint Joes, a holiday treat for three of us who are addicted to these Trader Joe cookies that are only available at Christmas. And I do have a homemade version – check out our Joe-Reos. PJH

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  6. Oval Lee

    Wow, what fun reading this blog. Just looking through the catalogue make s me want to try my hand at bread and everything else. I am a cake baker & decorator and used to work in large in-store bakeries. Played & got paid for it. I love the KA products I have used so far. I especially like the photos of the processes. Is this what the read book looks like?

    Thanks for joining the fun, Oval, and for your kind words. Not sure about your question – which book? But at any rate, the books don’t reflect the blog as far as color photographs go, but they do include a fair number of helpful hints and illustrated techniques. PJH

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  7. Julie

    Well, I’m from The Big Easy and I like your Big Cheesey pun! Don’t let the man bring you down! =)

    Love Cabot anything!

    Never, Julie – nothing brings me down. Life is good! Go Saints (if you’re a football fan…) PJH

    Reply
  8. Wendy

    I love this post & recipe and not just because I’m on the Cabot team! (I’m a huge King Arthur Flour fan, too!) Thanks for the great post; I’m posting it on our Facebook page :)

    And I’m TOTALLY making this for my family tonight. It’s snowy and cold and this looks like the perfect dinner! Yay! Thanks.

    Hey, Wendy – thanks for your great cheese! That clothbound is awesomeness defined… truly the best cheddar I’ve ever tasted. And I know you have more wild and wonderful flavors than what I saw on your Web site – because I’ve seen them in stores, yes? – so go ahead and tell us here what else you offer, if you like. And – hint, hint – I’d be SO happy to have more than jalapeno and “plain” in a low-fat version; since I eat low-fat Cabot every morning, 7X a week, I’d like to change it up every once in awhile. And – finally – thanks for the Vegas to Vermont challenge for us – ahem! – “older” exercisers. I’ve “virtually” reached Colorado, and am having a blast following the map. Cheers from Norwich – since we’re down South here, we’re probably a good 1° or 2° warmer than you guys up there… :) PJH

    Reply
  9. Melissa S

    Ahhhh I love macaroni and cheese. We always make ours with Cabot’s Hunter’s Seriously Sharp cheddar. I have to buy one of those BIG blocks every time I go to the grocery store! I’ll have to try it with your panko bread-crumb technique next time. LOVE your blog, BTW!! I’m dying to make your waffle cookies from the last post…if only I had a waffle iron!! :)

    Reply
  10. Joni M

    Whoa, comfort food at it’s best–with the snow coming down and wind a howling…will absolutely have to have mac & cheese over the weekend! Thanks again for such a fun, warm, educational place to come visit! Love this site!!!

    Reply
  11. Candace

    The best food ever! My grandma used to serve it to us kids with grape jelly on the side. To this day I eat it that way, even if it grosses out those eating next to me. Try it, (best with homemade grape jelly, of course) you might like it! I think it came from Depression times when she had many mouths to feed and no money. Macaroni and also cheese were government “commodity” foods (free food that was surplus, now much of it goes to schools) and she made her own jelly.

    Anyway, question – is this amount of sauce for one lb. of pasta? How about making it ahead? I’m having a brunch soon and it would be a great addition.

    Candace, the sauce is for 1/2 pound (8 ounces) of pasta (about 2 cups dry pasta). Check out the mac and cheese recipe for more info. And actually, the jelly doesn’t sound half-bad – I love the salty/sweet thing. We were actually talking yesterday about apple pie with a bacon lattice crust… PJH

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  12. Nel

    If you had put ‘The Big Cheesy’ in your e-mail subject line, I would have thought it was from my brother Bill. He’s been the ‘Big Cheesy’ in our family for years and years… :-)

    Gorgeous recipe: starch and cheese. What could be better when it’s snowing, which it is doing over here in Central Europe, too. No global warming ANYWHERE in sight, so every excuse to make mac and cheese at regular intervals between now and about May.

    Reply
  13. Doris

    PJ, have you gotten my rice paddle yet? It would be perfect for dishing up this yummy mac and cheese. I can’t wait to make this but I need to get myself some cheese first.

    Yes, I did, Doris – way cool! Dropped a thank-you note in snail mail for you today. I’ve tried it on soft butter – works very well. Have it ready for the next time I do something else sticky! :) PJH

    Reply
  14. Betty

    I have to stay away from wheat and sugar in my diet, and I’ve done very well sticking to that the last 8 months, but if anything could lure me off the commitment to that it’s the pictures on your blog for this mac and cheese. Makes you feel like you could reach right out and taste that spoonful that’s waiting right there to be enjoyed!
    I am 78 years old and live with my son and daughter-in-law, but trade off the cooking and baking with her much of the time. I couldn’t ask for a better life.
    PJ, you are one fantastic blogger! Even though I can’t eat most of the baked things on your post, I wouldn’t miss reading it for the world and I love trying them out and offering them to my family and friends who always love the results. I’ll be making this for them this weekend for sure. Keep up the good work!

    Betty, keep on keepin’ on – I’m so pleased you’re baking for others, even when you can’t enjoy it yourself. That’s lovely – PJH

    Reply
  15. MomOf3

    This recipe sound awesome. I am wondering if you tried to make this ahead up to crumb topping.

    I didn’t, but I’m sure it would be fine. Just refrigerate, then bake a b it longer than the recipe says. I don’t see any reaosn not to add the crumb topping beforehand, either. Good luck – PJH

    Reply
  16. Jackie

    Is Cabot cheese available on the West (Left) Coast? I used to live on Kraft mac and cheese in my college days and loved it. However, my palate has gone beyond fake cheese and I’d love to make it from scratch. I have a box of Panko waiting. And thanks for the info on how to create the breadcrumbs. I threw away a couple of crusts the other day and thought, as they left my hand, I wish I knew how to make crumbs.

    Cabot should be available to you, Jackie, yes – it’s a national brand. Crumbs – a food processor works wonders… PJH

    Reply
  17. Marianna

    PJ, you did it again! This is definitely going to be supper this evening. I LOVE Cabot cheddar and always have it on hand. I even have your cheddar powder so I am really ready to roll. I am thinking of adding some diced ham that I have leftover from last Sunday’s dinner. Long Island is cold, snowy, and dreary today so this comfort food will really hit the spot. Thanks!

    Ham is a perfect fit, Marianna – hope your weather improves this weekend! PJH

    Reply
  18. Marie

    I am an RN who works in the hospital. I love to have a recipe I can make on my day off (today)that can be baked off the next day I have to work(tomorrow) that doesn’t take forever to prepare. The cheese sauce is amazing, I just hope the kids don’t want “cheesy” popcorn tonight as I used all the cheese powder. Thanks for the great idea!!! Marie

    Reply
  19. SoupAddict Karen

    How do I love cheese? Let me count the ways.
    I love cheese to the depth and breadth and height
    My pasta bowl can reach, when winter robs us of light.

    I knew those interminable college English classes would be put to use someday!

    Aside from the overall brilliance of the dish, thanks for the reminder to make and freeze one’s own breadcrumbs. Just this morning I spotted a past-its-prime loaf on the counter, and rolled my eyes at myself because I hadn’t used it all up.

    Karen, you must belong to POEM (Professional Organization of English Majors), Garrison Keillor’s creation… I was a minor (anthropology major – talk about two lame majors, but oh-so-fun!) – PJH

    Reply
  20. Sue E. Conrad

    Ah, be still my heart!!!! Talk about the ultimate comfort food – that’s mac-and-cheese for sure!! Cabot cheddar, the Seriously Sharp variety….and yellow (from Publix in FL) rather than white, is my cheese of choice; most of the time, I grate up an entire 8-oz block – hey, it’s gotta be CHEESY! Rather than milk, I now use Kitchen Basics brand chicken stock, and what a delicious difference it makes. My brother-in-law who is lactose-intolerant can enjoy mac-and-cheese with no difficulties. Also, love the panko bread crumbs on top which I’ve used already; will have to try the garlic oil next time. Thanks, P.J., for another great blog!!

    Sue, I’ll have to try the chicken stock sometime – sounds like an interesting (and delicious) twist… PJH

    Reply
  21. Maggie

    This looks delicious! These days I’m restricted to low fat cheese (sigh), with only the occasional slice of the really good stuff permitted. Any idea how well this cooks up with low fat cheddar?

    Should do quite well with low-fat cheddar, Maggie – the flavor won’t be as pronounced, but the texture should be just fine. PJH

    Reply
  22. ed from Louisville

    since I have no white bread to make crumbs, have you tried whole wheat, ray or multi grain for crumbs for this recipe?

    All should work texture-wise, Ed – you’ll just have a different flavor. If you like whole grains, they should be fine – PJH

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  23. Amy

    I have been craving mac and cheese so bad. I’m going to have to give this a go.

    Good idea on grinding up leftover stale bread. I end up throwing away the “butt” ends of the white bread loaves I use for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I feel bad about wasting it- but now I’ll start grinding and keeping them :)

    Reply
  24. Kimberly D

    Just when I decided to go on a diet, you make this cheesonderful dish! I have never seen cavatappi, I have heard of them but never seen them in any of my local stores. I know we can use any type but I do like the way they look. This really dont’ sound much different than the one out of my g.grandma’s 1940 Better Home and Garden cookbook I have. Except for the Vermont Cheese Powder, wish I could fine it where I live. What do you think of using a cheddar and montertrey jack? I found it blended together and it taste great. Maybe with a little bit of that pepper jack mixed in also.

    Kimberly, Monterey Jack will smooth out the flavor, making it less intense, if that’s your desire; the pepper jack would add heat, obviously. Mac & cheese is one of those dishes perfect for experimenting with different cheeses, and combinations – go for it! PJH

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  25. Marianna

    You want to know how yummy this recipe is? I made it for dinner last night and we devoured it. The ham made a delicious addition. I served it with a salad and it really hit the spot. My 20 something son loved it so much that he went out this morning to the grocery store and bought another block of Cabot cheddar so that I would make more TODAY! Thanks PJ!
    Now that’s what I call a hit! Be sure to print out a copy for your son’s “hope chest”. This will be a recipe he’ll want for his own home someday. :) ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  26. Shannon

    Whenever I use cheddar for mac and cheese (not velveeta) I get a grainy texture to my sauce. Will the cheese powder help eliminate this? Or is it just the way cheddar is? The sauce in your pictures looks silky smooth!

    Shannon, I’d say the cheddar might be slightly grainier than Velveeta, especially if you use a super-sharp, long-aged, expensive cheddar; that’s the nature of that type of cheddar. Also, using natural cheese (as opposed to processed – e.g., Velveeta), if you cook it at too high a temperature or for too long, it can separate a bit, which makes it seem grainy. But I’ve been making mac and cheese for my son for over 20 years, using the Cabot extra-sharp sticks, and have never noticed that issue. The cheese powder won’t eliminate graininess, no – it simply jacks up flavor. And yes, the sauce in this recipe is indeed silky-smooth – PJH

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  27. Sharon

    Growing up I never knew “macky chee” could be made from anything other than a box. To this day I occasionally enjoy a box of store brand with a can of tuna added in. (Don’t tell anyone – I am a trained chef and have a reputation to uphold!) But I suppose, with 4 grandchildren, I should give the real stuff a try. They are pretty sophisticated little eaters and I envision them enjoying this recipe very much – with a side of steamed broccoli! And some of Gramma Sharon’s homemade bread. And a homemade dessert…

    We ALL have kitchen secrets that involve not-so-homemade ingredients or food products! Some include mac and cheese, others may be deli coleslaw or use of the grocery store roasted chickens. In either case, your family is fortunate to have comfort food from Gramma Sharon! Happy Baking! Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  28. Marianna

    MaryJane-
    Your comment yesterday started me off on a whole new project! I went out and bought three binders, a couple of packs of those clear plastic protective sleeves(so recipes can be wiped clean), and section tabs. I have two grown sons and I am making them cookbooks based on their favorite recipes. The other one is for me. I have so many cookbooks and many recipes on my computer, but figure I should have a hard copy of all the favorites I have collected and created. Thanks for the inspiration! :)

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  29. Katherine

    For Jackie, and anyone else out looking for it out west – much to my delight, I’m in Arizona and have found it, never at a “regular” grocery store, but at WalMart, Trader Joes and occasionally wholesale clubs. Check their website and find a store. Never thought I’d find it here. (I’m a New England, would would love to send you all some warmth right now).
    Now, if only someone sold split-top hot dog buns… :)

    Katherine, Nissen split-top hot dog buns! What, they don’t have those out West? More’s the pity… And we’ll take any warmth you want to send along. It’s climbed up to 5°F here! PJH

    Reply
  30. Pam

    I wish I could bake this up tonight, but I will have to get to the grocery store first! It looks yummy and I love the bread crumb topping. You guys rock for recipes!

    Reply
  31. MaryEllen

    This looks great, but I have two questions. In the blog it says the cheese powder is optional, in the recipe it says the 2 cups of cheese is optional. So if I want to use only one, for a milder version, which do I choose?
    Second question, is it just me or can nobody else get page 2 of the recipe instructions to print?

    Mary Ellen, we have continuing issues with recipes printing, and that’s high on our list of bugs to fix. You’ve clicked on “printable version” from the recipe page, right?

    For the milder version, use the cheese powder, I’d say. I didn’t realize I hadn’t synched the recipe and blog – thanks for pointing that out to me… PJH

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  32. Mark

    PJH- We ate this while the Ravens devoured the Pats. It was good both ways. A dilemma-my daughter thought it needed more cheese. My son less. I guess I’ll be making two versions in the future. I used large shells (not the ones you stuff) and it held all the sauce perfectly. THANKS!

    Excellent, Mark – thanks for sharing. Pats? Oh well, now I can concentrate on the Celts… and Tom B. can go back to his GQ modeling! :) PJH

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  33. Kimberly D

    I had to report I made this tonight and it was a big hit. I couldn’t fine the powder cheese here in “thumb” of Michigan and had to use flour. I found this shredded cheese combo that had Vermont chedder, Wisconsin sharp chedder, Monterey Jack in it, it melted great and tasted great! And this store carries 3 types of your flour, AP, Whole Wheat and UnBleached for $4.59 5lb bag! (I know where I am buying my flour from as soon as my Robin Hood brand is all gone!). I had no problem with your printable version of this recipe. I cut and paste them onto Micosoft Word and save them than print when I am ready to cook/bake them.

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  34. Jan in Maine

    Marie mentioned cheese powder on popcorn, which reminded me… we always bought brewers yeast (flake form) and run it thru the herb/spice mill until a powder and sprinkle over popcorn for that cheesy (and healthy) taste. Think I’ll try with this recipe.

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  35. Brenda

    Made a double batch last evening in a 9×13″ pan, cut into squares, & froze. Had to have it for breakfast this morning to see how it weathered being frozen, and it fared well. Now have a new default recipe for mac & cheese.

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  36. Cher

    Made this for Sunday dinner. Didn’t have any cheddar powder, so I substitued a couple of tablespoons of Pizza Dough Flavor improver (it has cheddar and other flavors in it, so why not???) Used Wisconsin cheddar since that was in the fridge (other wise it would have had to have been New York cheddar :-) ). The panko bread crumbs added a nice texture — normally, I would use shredded stale bread to keep the mac from drying out. I was a little worried that the mixture was too runny, but the al dente pasta soaked it right up, resulting in creamy goodness. Got many compiments — even the fussy child went back for thirds. Three thumbs up!!!

    THREE thumbs up! (Does this mean you’re all thumbs…?) Awwright…… Thanks, Cher- PJH

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  37. Arica

    I found this blog googling “brioche.” I find your writing and your comment responses incredibly informative and amusing. Kudos to your work and for making me itch to bake at 1 am!

    Thanks, Arica! The “itch to bake” can be 24/7, I know – I often wake up in the middle of the night thinking “What if…?” and have to content myself with simply writing myself a note. Glad you’ve joined the fun here- PJH

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  38. Heather

    I tried making this and it turned out quite well, but I can’t find the Cabot Cheddar Shake anywhere! I’ve asked at a few grocery stores in my area and when I try to describe it to the salespeople, they always give me this look like I’ve gone off my rocker…It’s killing me not to know how doubly-cheesy-delicious it could be with that added, but I’m not giving up. I’ll find it somewhere, eventually! And in the meantime, this is still going to be my new go-to recipe :)

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  39. KimberlyD

    Any suggestings on how to re-warm this yummy dish? I put it back in the oven and it was dry.

    To reheat leftovers or keep the product moist after serving, be sure to cover the baking dish with a piece of foil. Some like to spray that first with a bit of cooking spray (sprayed side of the foil facing the casserole). When reheating rice, you can use a bit of butter on the foil before you cover the pan – not sure this same principle would work for the mac and cheese casserole. There’s always the microwave! Irene @ KAF

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  40. Lorri H

    This was deee- lish! Thanks for creating a new take on an old favorite. BTW- I didn’t have the cheese powder so used some parmesan instead and it tasted great.

    Glad you enjoyed, it Lorri – Parmesan sounds like a wonderful twist. PJH

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  41. Patti B.

    With my shipment of KAF products in hand, I dove into the preparation of this recipe. I was even fortunate enough to have some white cheddar Cabot cheese on hand. I followed the instructions exactly, no substitutions or playin’ around with this one!

    In a word, AMAZING!

    Hands down, the best Mac ‘n Cheese recipe I’ve ever eaten!

    The recipe says it serves 4; we had a green salad on the side and could have easily served 5-6 people, it’s very rich.

    Thanks for the incredible recipe; it’s a keeper…in the FRONT of the recipe binder!

    P.S. Also, thanks again for the great customer service. My original shipment was delivered to the wrong address and KAF promptly overnighted me a replacement shipment. When the original shipment finally surfaced, your gracious rep said to keep it or pass it along…I passed it along to a dear friend…can’t wait to hear her reviews!

    WOW, FRONT of the binder – thanks for sharing the good news, Patti! And glad you had a good experience with us – we try to treat everyone as we’d like to be treated. Hmmm, the Golden Rule – still true after all these years. :) PJH

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  42. Don

    Yum!! Mac & cheese made with powdered cheese, washed down with a 16 oz. Pepsi and oreo cookies for desert (just got to love it). Caution! This recipe was prepared by professionals. Please, please, please, do not try this at home, as it may prove very detrimental to your waistline and overall health. :-) I definitely will try this recipe, but with a side salad and a piece of fruit as a substitute for the Pepsi and cookies.. Thanks ladies.

    Reply
  43. annralph

    I’m making this ..again..for dinner tonight. I always try, on the first go round, to make the recipe exactly as printed. Unfortunately I live in Wisconsin…so other than sneaking in the Vermont cheese powder, I had to use a quality Wisconsin extra sharp cheddar, made in the cheese factory down the road from me. Turned out awesome anyway! :)

    Tonight I’m making it again. Only now I’m getting creative. I’m adding in some ham, onion, and green pepper, making it a one-dish meal. I’m sure it’ll be awesome again!

    Never thought I’d like cheese powder.. LOVE the stuff!

    “Unfortunately I live in Wisconsin” – not unfortunate at all! That’s my home state. I’m just back from Illinois, where I stopped at a Culver’s for a Wisconsin Butterburger and fried cheese curds and frozen custard; believe me, Vermont could take a page out of Wisconsin’s book when it comes to some of the Badger state’s over-the-top decadent treats! PJH

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  44. Rachel

    In my quest for a homemade Kraft-style Mac & Cheese, I came across King Arthur Flour’s Vermont Cheese Powder, and from there to your blog. I’ve tried the fancy roux with different (expensive) cheeses, but my 5-year old tells me that she doesn’t want to hurt my feelings but my Mac & cheese is not as good as the one in the blue box. :-)

    So, my questions are: Is it okay to just use the cheese powder, and leave the cheese out? If yes, then how much of the cheese powder do I use? Which do you prefer – King Arthur’s Vermont Cheese Powder or Cabot’s Cheddar Shake? Thanks for your help.
    While I’ve never tried the Cabot, we do make mac and cheese at home with the powder all of the time. I just 1/4 cup powder, two tablespoons of butter and a splash of milk. I like mine thick and saucy, Shannon likes hers thinner, so whoever pours the milk wins. Hope this helps! ~ MaryJane

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  45. trutxns4

    Vermont Cheese Powder?? I have never heard of or seen it. I live in Dallas, TX. Any thoughts where I could find this? I have to make this recipe now. My family LOVES home made mac & cheese!

    Sorry, we don’t sell it in regular stores, but you can find it online here.

    Reply
  46. "Kneady Steph"

    I made this tonight to satisfy my mac n’ cheese craving and it was absolutely gorgeous. I used more pasta than the recipe called for though so it didn’t end up being saucy, but the flavor was still spot on. I used Cabot’s Seriously Sharp Cheddar, which always my cheese of choice for anything. Thanks for the recipe.

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