The key to the fudgy texture of these cookies is letting them cool directly on the baking sheets. Avoid using bittersweet bar chocolate--the cookies will be too rich and won't hold their shape.
To complete this recipe in 30 minutes, preheat your oven before assembling your ingredients. If your skillet is not ovensafe, transfer the pasta mixture into a shallow 2-quart casserole dish before sprinkling with the cheese and baking. Packaged pre-shredded mozzarella is a real time-saver here. Penne can also be used here.
An aluminum foil liner prevents burning on dark nonstick baking sheets. When using baking sheets with a light finish, foil is not required, but we recommend it for easy cleanup.
As this dish is denser and more intensely flavored than traditional mashed potatoes, our suggested serving size is smaller than you might expect. These potatoes make a fine accompaniment to simply seasoned grilled meats, fish, and poultry.
This recipe can be cut in half, if desired.
Don’t drain the macaroni too well before adding the other ingredients--a little extra moisture will keep the salad from drying out. If you’ve made the salad ahead of time, simply stir in a little warm water to loosen the texture.
The serrated edges on a bread knife can pull off the cheesy crust. To prevent this, place the finished garlic bread cheese side down on a cutting board. Slicing through the crust (rather than the cheese) first will keep the cheese in place.