The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Sinful Baked Mac and Cheese

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Level: Easy

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Description

This mac and cheese is a decadently creamy concoction, with the flavors of sharp cheddar and Gruyere cheeses, baked to tender perfection.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces, weight Elbow Macaroni
  • ¼ cups Butter, Plus 1/2 Teaspoon, Divided
  • ¼ cups Flour
  • 2 cups Whole Milk
  • 1 cup Whipping Cream
  • 1 pound Shredded Sharp White Cheddar, Divided
  • ½ pounds Shredded Gruyere, Divided
  • ⅛ teaspoons Sweet Paprika (Hungarian)
  • Salt And Fresh Black Pepper

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cook noodles in salted boiling water until al dente. Strain and toss in ½ teaspoon butter and stir until fully melted. This will keep the macaroni noodles from sticking to each other.

Prepare cheese sauce by melting the remaining 1/4 cup butter in a large sauce pan. Add flour and whisk until a roux forms. Cook over medium low heat for a minute or two more. Add milk and cream. Whisk until roux has been completely dissolved and incorporated into the milk and cream. Cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until mixture thickens into a béchamel sauce.

Add half of the cheddar and half of the Gruyere. Stir until cheese has melted and is integrated into the sauce. Add paprika, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust as needed.

Remove pan from the heat. Add macaroni noodles into the sauce in the pan and stir until everything is well incorporated. Pour half of the macaroni mixture into a buttered 8¼ x 11-inch oven dish. Sprinkle half of the remaining cheese. Top with the remaining macaroni mixture and the rest of the cheese.

Bake until the cheese is fully melted and the macaroni and cheese is bubbling. If desired, turn the oven to broil for two minutes to add some color to the top of the mac and cheese (optional). Remove from the oven and allow mac and cheese to cool for about 5 minutes.

Serve.

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