If you kids are like mine then they love Macaroni & Cheese. I am not the biggest fan of the boxed version because I don’t really like the consistency and lets be honest have you read the ingredient list. There are some things that I am not really sure what they are and how they pertain to food. So I prefer to make mine homemade.
I stumbled upon an article that talked about making mac n’ cheese appetizers in mini muffin pans. I thought that sounded like such a fun way to make dinner for the kids. I used a regular muffin pan instead so that the portions were bigger than a bite. Such a fun side dish and the cayenne gives it just the right amount of kick.
Mini Mac n’ Cheese Muffins
~ 1 lb. small elbow pasta
~ 6 Tbsp. butter
~ 4 Tbsp. flour
~ 4 cups milk
~ 1 lb. cheddar cheese, grated
~ 3 eggs, whisked
~ 3/4 cup bread crumbs
~ 1 tsp. cayenne pepper or less depending on taste
~ salt to taste
1. Bring salted water to a rolling boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Cook until soft. Don’t stop at al dente, the pasta will not continue to cook through when molded into muffin form.
2. Make cheese sauce by melting 3 Tbsp. butter and mixing in the flour. Cook the butter and flour together for a few minutes to cook out the raw flour taste. Slowly add the milk and whisk in. Continue to whisk until sauce thickens. When sauce thickens remove from heat and add grated cheese. Season with salt and cayenne. Add sauce to the cooked pasta. Then add 1/2 cup of bread crumbs and eggs. Stir the mixture.
3. Melt the remaining 3 Tbsp. of butter and blend in with the 1/4 cup of bread crumbs. Set bread crumb mixture aside.
4. Preheat oven to 350 F. Liberally grease muffin tins. Spoon the mac n’ cheese mixture into the muffin tins. Garnish with bread crumb mixture and bake for about 20 minutes or until browned on top and somewhat firm to the touch. Cool for about 15 minutes before removing them. If you have trouble removing them cool for a bit longer.
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