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Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a 2-quart baking dish, or 9-inch square pan, with nonstick cooking spray.
Heat the butter in a deep skillet over medium-low heat. When the butter is melted add the garlic and the onions and sauté for about 5 minutes until the onion is tender; don’t let the vegetables brown – turn down the heat if necessary, and stir frequently. Stir in the red pepper flakes, thyme, salt and pepper. Add the half and half and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
Place half of the potatoes in the prepared baking pan. Carefully pour half of the hot liquid over the potatoes, using a spoon to scoop out some of the onions as your pour. Fill the pan with the rest of the potatoes, arranging them attractively if you care about such things and pour over the rest of the liquid. Cover the pan with foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake uncovered for another 30 minutes. If you want the top to be a little more browned, turn the broiler on for a minute or two, catching carefully to make sue the top doesn’t burn.
Let the potatoes sit for about 8 minutes before serving.