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Photo: Sara Remington
Crispy, buttery and cheesy, these are a decadent treat when you feel like regular mac and cheese just won't do. Drizzle on ketchup for a classic combo, sriracha or other hot sauce for spice. The recipe, after the jump.

Sometimes we receive a book we all kind of fight to see who takes home. The Mac + Cheese Cookbook is one of those. If you've ever truly craved macaroni and cheese, chef/owners at Oakland, CA restaurant Homeroom have the cure: a dozen kinds with a jillion more add-ins.

A surprising number of people have asked us to add fried mac and cheese or mac and cheese pancakes to our menu. We always said no because both sounded more kitschy than tasty. However, when it came time to write this cookbook, we decided that it was at least worth experimenting with these kooky suggestions to see if they were good or gross. Fried mac and cheese was yummy, but it's hard to get much cheesy flavor into fried mac balls — they need a lot of other stuff to bind them so they don't fall apart in the deep-fryer. However, mac and cheese pancakes (or Mac-Cakes, as we call them) were actually delicious!

The key is the contrast between lots of crispy exterior and gooey interior. Both sides of the Mac-Cake are coated in panko and then griddled with extra butter. Crispy, buttery and cheesy, these are a decadent treat when you feel like regular mac and cheese just won't do. Another fun element of Mac-Cakes is that you can add your favorite toppings. Drizzle on ketchup for a classic combo, sriracha or other hot sauce for spice, or even another dipping sauce that you think would be complementary.

Reprinted with permission from The Mac + Cheese Cookbook