Straight from the pretzel maker's test kitchen, this is the beer-geek version of traditional mac-and-cheese.
- 8 ounces elbow macaroni, uncooked
- 1 stick butter, unsalted
- 2 tablespoons finely minced onion
- 1⁄2 teaspoon each salt, pepper, mustard powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 cup bock beer
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 4 ounces (about 1 1⁄2 cups) extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 4 ounces (about 1 1⁄2 cups) Parmesan cheese, finely shredded, divided
- 2 ounces (about 3⁄4 cup) fontina cheese, shredded
- 2 ounces (about 3⁄4 cup) smoked provolone cheese, shredded
- 1 cup crushed Snyder’s of Hanover Bacon-Cheddar Flavored Pieces.
· Heat the oven to 350 degrees F and spray a medium casserole dish (or, use individual ramekins) with nonstick cooking spray.
· Cook the pasta in salted water according to the package directions until slightly less than al dente. Drain and rinse under cool water; set aside.
· In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat until it foams. Add the onion, salt, pepper, mustard powder and cayenne pepper and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
· Make a roux by adding the flour and whisking constantly until the mixture is smooth and a light golden brown.
· Continue whisking; add the beer and half-and-half and cook until smooth; let simmer until thickened. Add the cream cheese and whisk until completely smooth.
· Reduce heat to low; while stirring, add the cheese, reserving 3/4 cup of the Parmesan for topping the casserole; continue stirring. Once smooth, turn off the heat and fold in the cooked pasta.
· Turn the mixture into the prepared casserole pan and sprinkle with the reserved Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle the crushed Pretzel Pieces over the top of the casserole.
· Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until the topping is golden brown. Serve warm.