3 Cheese Mini Mac & Cheese Bites

It was J's birthday this past week and we celebrated the two of us at a Hollywood sushi staple, Katsuya. But this weekend, the real celebration went down. After a successful housewarming party, J wanted to have another party at our house, so of course I used this as the perfect excuse to make a few recipes I've been wanting to try.

It is no secret I love any form of macaroni & cheese. Put the cheesy goodness into a finger food?  As soon as I saw the photo for these "3 Cheese Mini Macs" at Food and Wine my stomach told me I HAD TO MAKE THESE...and they were everything I hoped they would be. Super easy to make and so so so delicious. It's a good thing I sampled as I made them, because all 48 were gone quickly. I want to have another party simply so I can make them again.

3 Cheese Mini Mac & Cheese Bites
Makes: 48 mini cups
Cook time according to Food & Wine: 45 mins
Cook time according to Rachel: 45 mins!
How difficult was this for Rachel? Easy!
Note: These can be made the day before up until they need to be baked. Just make sure to store in the fridge. (I did this and it definitely saved me time day of the party)

1/2 lb elbow macaroni                                          
1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
3/4 cup skim milk
4 ounces cheddar cheese
4 ounces deli-sliced American Cheese, chopped
1 large egg yolk
1/4 tsp paprika
baking spray

Bakeware: 2  24 cup mini muffin tins


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a large saucepan or pot, cook the macaroni according to directions on the box. 

While the noodles are cooking, in a large sauce pan, melt the butter. Once melted, whisk in flour over medium heat for aprox 2 mins.
 Whisk in milk and cook until mixture boils. Now, my mixture was boiling right away, so let cook for a few mins if that happens to you.  Add in the cheddar and american cheese. Whisk until melted.
(Try not to eat the cheese straight out of the pot) 
Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in the egg you and paprika.
Add the cheese to the noodles and completely mix through.
Spray the mini muffin tins with baking spray and sprinkle in a pinch of Parmigiano in the bottom of each cup.
Spoon 1 tbsp of mac and cheese into prepared cups. 
(If making these ahead of time, once all cups are filled, cover with foil and refrigerate)
If you made these the day before, sprinkle on a little cheddar before baking
Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes.
With a spoon, gently remove from muffin tin. 
Duke did a great job supervising. I did let him sample just a little bit. He worked hard after all.

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