≡ Menu

Bock Beer and Pretzel Macaroni and Cheese

Bock Beer and Pretzel Macaroni and Cheese - Mac & Cheese Chick

Beer, pretzels, and mac and cheese. With this combination, how can you go wrong?

I was feeling decadent, and when I came across this recipe I knew it was meant to be. Never mind that I made this particular recipe at noon on a random weekday and ended up finishing off the rest of the beer while I was cooking. Burp.

Unfortunately, I was not able to get my grubby little hands on one of the key ingredients in the recipe: Snyder’s of Hanover Bacon Cheddar Flavored Pieces. I know, you’re weeping. You know what? So was I. The pieces were such a pivotal part of the recipe and I could not find them in several local grocery stores. Seriously bummed! But, I made do with regular Snyder’s of Hanover pretzel sticks. Although one of these days, I’d love to make this recipe with the pieces – they sound delicious!

Bock Beer and Pretzel Macaroni and Cheese - Mac & Cheese Chick

Making do with what I had on-hand, I made some small changes to the original Snyder’s of Hanover recipe: I subbed shallot for onion, fat-free half & half for regular, and the pretzel sticks for the bacon-cheddar pieces. And of course, I went with only the best ingredients: Shiner Bock beer (guys, please kill the old-fashioned Flash website – bring yourselves into the 21st century) and Beecher’s Flagship and Smoked Flagship cheeses. Beecher’s, you guys are my heroes. I love you. And that’s not the beer talking.

Bock Beer and Pretzel Macaroni and Cheese - Mac & Cheese Chick

On to the cooking! First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and Pam an 11×7 baking dish (I used Pyrex). In a large pot, cook the pasta (gemelli for me) for two minutes less than called for on the package directions. Drain and set aside.

Bock Beer and Pretzel Macaroni and Cheese

In the same large pot (you know me, why dirty an extra dish?), melt butter over medium heat until nice and foamy. Add the minced shallot, salt, pepper, mustard powder and cayenne pepper and cook until fragrant (about one minute).

Add flour and whisk until smooth. Continue cooking and whisking constantly until the mixture is a light golden brown. Slowly add the beer and half and half and whisk until smooth. Continue simmering the mixture until it is thickened. Add cream cheese and whisk until completely smooth.

Bock Beer and Pretzel Macaroni and Cheese - Mac & Cheese Chick

Reduce the heat to low and while continuing to whisk, add the cheeses (reserving 3/4 cup of the Parmesan for topping your mac and cheese later). Once the cheeses are all melted and incorporated, stir in the cooked gemelli.

Bock Beer and Pretzel Macaroni and Cheese - Mac & Cheese Chick

Pour/spoon/somehow-pile-all-that-cheesy-goodness into the Pammed baking dish and top with the remaining Parmesan cheese; finish by sprinkling on the crushed pretzel pieces and bake for 45 minutes or until the mac and cheese is crowned and bubbling. Let sit for five minutes prior to serving.

Bock Beer and Pretzel Macaroni and Cheese - Mac & Cheese Chick

Looks pretty darn scrumptious, right? And it was! Three and a half elbows up.

Bock Beer and Pretzel Macaroni and Cheese - Mac & Cheese Chick

Why not four? Let me tell you. I couldn’t taste the beer – not even a little bit. I was missing the anticipated slight hoppiness and I was disappointed that I didn’t find it in this mac and cheese. What I did find was a lovely, velvety cheese sauce. The flavor held a subtle smokiness with the tang of Parmesan and the crunch of pretzel topping. The mac and cheese itself held onto its creaminess even when baked – this isn’t one that’s going to dry out on you in the oven! As far as the lack of bock taste, I would suggest tweaking the liquids in the recipe – perhaps a bit less half and half and a bit more bock beer. But I will leave that up to you.

Here is my recipe, adapted from Snyder’s of Hanover.

Bock Beer and Pretzel Macaroni and Cheese
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Mac & Cheese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 as a side
 
Bock Beer and Pretzel Macaroni and Cheese
Ingredients
  • 10 ounces gemelli pasta
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced shallot
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon mustard powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ½ cup Shiner Bock beer
  • 2 cups fat-free half and half
  • 4 ounces fat-free cream cheese, softened
  • 4 ounces Beecher's Flagship extra-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 ounces Parmesan cheese, shredded and divided
  • 2 ounces Fontina cheese, shredded
  • 2 ounces Beecher's Smoked Flagship cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Snyder's of Hanover pretzel sticks, crushed
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and Pam an 11x7 oven-safe baking dish. In a large pot, cook pasta for two minutes less than called for on package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. In the same large pot, melt butter over medium heat until foamy. Add minced shallot, salt, pepper, mustard powder and cayenne pepper and cook until fragrant (about one minute).
  3. Add flour and whisk until smooth. Continue cooking and whisking constantly until the mixture is a light golden brown. Slowly add beer and half and half and whisk until smooth. Continue simmering the mixture until it is thickened. Add cream cheese and whisk until completely smooth.
  4. Reduce heat to low and while continuing to whisk, add the cheeses (reserving ¾ cup of the Parmesan for topping your mac and cheese later). Once the cheeses are all melted and incorporated, stir in the cooked pasta.
  5. Pour mac and cheese into Pammed baking dish and top with remaining Parmesan cheese; finish by sprinkling on the crushed pretzel pieces and bake for 45 minutes or until the mac and cheese is crowned and bubbling. Let sit for five minutes prior to serving.
  6. Serve and scarf down immediately!

 

Bock Beer and Pretzel Macaroni and Cheese - Mac & Cheese Chick

Bock Beer and Pretzel Macaroni and Cheese - Mac & Cheese Chick

Follow me!

Mac & Cheese Chick

Trying every mac and cheese recipe under the sun - one spoonful at a time!
Follow me!
Please follow and like us:
{ 0 comments… add one }

Leave a Comment

Rate this recipe: