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Cream cheese and cheddar mac and cheese with a decadent crispy potato skins top!
Preheat the oven to 450 F. Place the whole baby potatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil. Salt and pepper liberally and shake the pan a little to coat them with oil. Roast for 30 minutes, or until cooked through. Then set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, cook the macaroni in a large pot of salted water, according to package instructions. When done, drain it and set aside in a collander.
Using the same pasta pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Once melted whisk in the flour and cook the roux (butter-flour mixture) for 1 minute. Then whisk in the milk until combined. Then add the sour cream and 8 ounces of the cream cheese. Bring to a simmer and whisk until the mixture is thick and smooth.
Add 1 pound of the shredded cheddar and whisk until smooth. Then add a dash or two of cayenne pepper and salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the cooked macaroni, 2/3 cup of the crumbled bacon and 2/3 cup of green onions into the cheese sauce. Stir to coat.
Pour the macaroni into a 9X13 inch baking dish and set aside.
For the potato skins:
Preheat the oven to broil. Cut each potato in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop of most of the flesh, leaving just a little potato attached to the skin. Reserve the crumbled potato flesh.
Brush the potato skins with the remaining oil. With the remaining 2 ounces of cream cheese, place a scant 1/2 teaspoon dollop of cream cheese in each potato skin.
Sprinkle the crumbled potato flesh over the mac and cheese. Then arrange the potato skins over the top. Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheddar over the potato skins and add pepper to taste.
For creamy baked mac and cheese, place the baked mac and cheese in the oven under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, watching it carefully. You want the cheese to melt and the top to toast, but not burn.
For a more traditional “firm” baked mac and cheese, turn the oven to 400 F, and bake for 20 minutes until the top is golden.
Once out of the oven, sprinkle the remaining green onions and bacon over the top and serve warm.
Feel free to customize the toppings to your taste. I like my wrap with avocado, tomato and lettuce while my husband likes the chicken on a bun as a club sandwich. The real key to this recipe is the marinade.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!