Donnie’s Amazing Mac ‘N Cheese

Thanksgiving sides always seem to find a place on our tables when they represent something special to a family. Whether it is a dish that represents our past and the ancestors original country of origin, or a side dish that was made by someone we love who is no longer with us.  These sides fill our stomachs but most importantly they warm our hearts.  This Mac ‘n Cheese recipe was Don Hamrick’s mothers favorite signature dish.  Each time he makes it, the aromas, the visual of the dish, and the making of it brings her back, close to the family, and she lives on in their memories through this dish. 




Total Time:

60 minutes

To Make


  • 1 lb. Penne Pasta
  • 2 ¼ c. milk (you can use 2% if you prefer)

  • 8 Tbsp. flour

  • 6 Tbsp. butter

  • 4 oz. mascarpone

  • 4 oz. parmesan

  • 8 oz. shredded sharp white cheddar

  • 8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar (for top)

  • 2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp. black pepper

  • 1 tsp. nutmeg


      Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. 

      Prepare pasta to directions on the box.

       In separate 2 qt. pan melt butter on medium heat. Stir in flour and whisk constantly to blend with melted butter. When flour is completely included, slowly stir in the milk while whisking all the time. Make sure there are no clumps & everything is becoming silky smooth.

       After milk is totally incorporated add the mascarpone, parmesan & white cheddar while stirring to maintain consistency. Reduce heat to low. Add black pepper & nutmeg. Stir for 2 more minutes then turn off heat.

       Add drained pasta & stir to coat completely.

       Empty pasta into 9 X 12 dish.

       Use ½ of sharp cheddar to cover top & bake at 350° for 25 minutes.

       When hot & bubbly pull out & cover the top with the remaining cheddar cheese then top broil for 2-3 minutes until it looks just right to you. Watch it closely as broil happens quickly!

       Cool & enjoy!


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      Serves: 6

      Total Time:

      60 minutes


      • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
      • 2 tsp baking powder
      • 1/4 tsp baking soda
      • 1/2 tsp salt
      • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
      • 1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
      • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
      • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
      • 1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
      • 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
      • 1/2 cup unsalted butter , cold and diced into 1/2-inch pieces
      • 1/2 cup fresh roasted pumpkin puree refrigerated
      • 3 1/2 Tbsp buttermilk
      • 1 large egg room temperature
      • 1 tsp vanilla extract
      • 1 Tbsp honey

      • 1 Tbsp half and half

      For the Glaze:

      • 1 cup powder sugar
      • 2 Tbsp. milk or half and half


      For the Pumpkin Icing

      • 1 cup powder sugar
      • 2 Tbsp. milk or half and half
      • 1 ½ Tbsp. fresh pumpkin puree
      • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
      • 1/8 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
      • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
      • 1 Tbsp half and half


      Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

      Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside.

       In a large bowl, combine flour, powder, soda, salt cinnamon, fresh nutmeg, ginger cloves and both sugars. Add cold butter, using your fingers to work the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles coarse crumbs.

      In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, buttermilk, egg and vanilla, honey and half and half.

      Pour mixture over dry ingredients and stir using a rubber spatula until a soft dough forms.

      Working on a lightly floured surface, knead the dough 3-4 times until it comes together. Using a rolling pill, roll the dough into a 10- by 7-inch rectangle, about 1-inch thick. Using a large knife or a pizza cutter, cut the rectangle in half lengthwise, then cut into 2 even pieces crosswise, making four rectangles. Then cut each rectangle into two triangles, making 8 triangles.

      Place scones onto prepared baking sheet. Place into oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

      To make the glaze, combine confectioners’ sugar and milk. Whisk until smooth. If the glaze is too thick, add more milk as needed; set aside. To make the spiced glaze, combine confectioners’ sugar, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg and milk and pumpkin puree. Whisk until smooth; set aside.

      When the scones are done, cool for 10 minutes and spoon the glaze on each scone before drizzling with spiced glaze.

      Allow glazes to set before serving.


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