March 4, 2012

... Mini Mac n' Cheese Bites

There must be some tie between mac n' cheese and sporting events... or is that just me?  Mom made this recipe for the Cotton Bowl party she and Dad hosted.  These guys went over so well that it was a no brainer that I make them for the Super Bowl party I went to.  

How can you go wrong with three cheeses and macaroni in bite-size form?  Let me tell you, you can't.

What you can go wrong with is having to take a last minute picture for the ol' blog with your iPhone.  You'll just have to trust me when I tell you how good these are.  Look at that creamy cheese sauce above or check out the original recipe for validation.  You won't be sorry.

Mini Mac n' Cheese Bites
makes 48

1/2 pound elbow macaroni
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
4 ounces aged white cheddar cheese, grated
4 ounces Gruyere, grated
2 extra large egg yolks
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup Panko crumbs
pinch of kosher salt

Adjust the oven racks to the upper and lower thirds of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil.  Add the macaroni and cook according to the manufacturer's directions.  Drain the macaroni and set aside.

Spray two 24-cup mini muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray.  In a small bowl, combine the Parmigiano-Reggiano and Panko.  Set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.  Whisk in the flour and cook the mixture for 2 minutes, whisking constantly.  Add the milk and continue whisking until the mixture is thick, about 5 minutes. Add the cheddar and Gruyere and whisk until the cheeses are completely melted.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the egg yolks.  Fold in the macaroni and season with salt.

Evenly fill the prepared muffin tins with the macaroni and cheese, about 3/4 full.  Sprinkle the Panko and cheese mixture evenly over the tops.  Bake the mini macs until they are sizzling and golden on top, about 10-12 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking.  Remove from the oven and let the mini macs cool for 5 minutes.  Using the edge of a small offset spatula, carefully remove the mini macs and transfer to a platter to serve.

Taylor's Notes:
Unlike the last Pinterest recipe I posted, these are really quick to make.  You can even make them ahead, stick them in the refrigerator, and bake them right before game time if you like.  They're best when warm, as you can imagine, so baking one pan at a time is a good idea if you don't have too many hungry fans hanging around.

Enjoy and Go Team!

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