almost Beecher's famous mac & cheese

Because you can never have too many great mac & cheese recipes in your back pocket...

And because Beecher's mac & cheese was really my first glimpse into the world of amazing mac & cheese...

And because I don't live 5 minutes away from Beecher's anymore...

I finally made their famous mac & cheese.

(Last week.  Not yesterday.  Yesterday I did nothing but snuggle my sweet  brand-new baby!)

And yep, it's as good as I remembered it!

Better, of course, if I could splurge and use real Beecher's cheese in it, but since I have Tillamook on hand, Tillamook is what I used.

This mac & cheese is creamy, rich, smooth and a tiny bit spicy.

Not too spicy though.  Don't let the spice scare you, it's just a hint...  but the chipotle chili powder is a must for this dish!

Almost Beecher's Famous Mac & Cheese Recipe
adapted from Beecher's via Martha Stewart

1 pound penne pasta, or other short pasta
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
3 cups milk
3 1/2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese (aged Tillamook is great here!)
1/2 cup monterey jack cheese (or mozzarella or more cheddar if that's all you have)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
for the topping:
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup jack, mozzarella or more cheddar cheese
1/4 teaspoon, or so, chipotle chili powder

Preheat the oven to 350ºF and butter a 9x13" baking dish.

Cook the pasta, according to package directions, about 2 minutes less than done.

Meanwhile, in a large pan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until light golden brown.  Slowly whisk in the milk and cook, stirring until thickened...  up to 10 minutes.

Turn off the heat and stir in the cheeses and spices until smooth.  Stir in the noodles and pour into the buttered baking dish.

(*If you are making this dish ahead, stop here, cover with foil and place in the fridge or freeze!)

Sprinkle evenly with the cheeses and a bit of chipotle powder and bake for 25-30 minutes, until bubbly and golden!

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