Mini Baked Mac & Cheese Bites

 Mini Baked Mac & Cheese Bites via The Baker Chick

As I mentioned yesterday, these bites were a favorite from my Tiny Food Party that I recently hosted. I wanted to round out my menu with a warm, savory, app that would feel satisfying next to other lighter snacks. Though the Tiny Food Party cookbook had a fried version, I knew I wanted to make something at least a little bit healthier, (but really who am I kidding?)

These are easy to throw together, and best of all- you can have them in the muffin tins ready to go until right before your guests arrive. (In fact- I highly recommend this as chilling them helps to solidify the cups so they keep their form after you remove them from the pan.)

 Mini Baked Mac & Cheese Bites via The Baker Chick

This recipe calls for cheddar, american and parmesan cheese, and while of course you can adapt it a bit, I don’t suggest making too many changes. The parmesan sprinkled on the bottom of the cups creates a bit of a shell that makes these stay together much better. The american cheese really gives these that creamy texture we know and love.  Of course you can change those two if you want, but the flavor with this combo was pretty great.

 Mini Baked Mac & Cheese Bites via The Baker Chick

Mini Baked Mac & Cheese Bites

Yield: 48 mini bites

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for brushing
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (1 packed cup)
  • 4 ounces deli-sliced American cheese, chopped
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the macaroni until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain.
  2. Brush four 12-cup, nonstick mini muffin tins with butter. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the Parmigiano into the wells. (Just to coat the insides.)
  3. In a large saucepan, melt the 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter. Whisk in the flour over medium heat for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and cook, whisking constantly, until boiling, about 5 minutes. Add the cheddar and American cheeses and whisk until melted. Off the heat, whisk in the egg yolk, salt, cayenne and paprika. Fold in the macaroni.
  4. Spoon slightly rounded tablespoons of the macaroni into the prepared muffin cups, packing them gently. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmigiano on top.
  5. Cover with foil and chill for at least 30 minutes or until you are almost ready to serve.
  6. Bake the mini macs in the upper and middle thirds of the oven for about 10 minutes, until golden and sizzling. Let cool for 10 minutes. Using a small spoon, carefully loosen the mini macs, transfer to a platter and serve.

Notes

If they don't hold their shape when you pop them out, let them cool for just a couple more minutes. They are delicious served just-warm and will stay intact when they've had a chance to solidify.

http://www.thebakerchick.com/2012/10/mini-baked-mac-cheese-bites/
Recipe adapted from: Food & Wine

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 Mini Baked Mac & Cheese Bites via The Baker Chick  Mini Baked Mac & Cheese Bites via The Baker Chick  Mini Baked Mac & Cheese Bites via The Baker Chick

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Comments

  1. says

    This reminds me of a turkey mac and cheese recipe I tried a few years back for Thanksgiving. They look so cute, and I can’t resist the little crunchy bits of melted cheese :)

  2. Tobe Wolfe says

    I made two versions – I filled all the muffin cups as instructed per the recipe. I cooked six slices of crispy bacon and crumbled, topping 24 of them with the bacon and cheese – delicious!

  3. LadyMac says

    I am helping a friend out with his wedding reception (coordinating it, actually) and his daughter is a huge mac & cheese fan. So I promised I would make her mac & cheese bites. Going to test out your recipe, but wondered if Leslie (or anyone else) had tried freezing them after baking and them warming them up.

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  5. Angelina says

    Hey :)
    I want to make this recipe for my birthday party next Saturday..think it’ll be so much fun to make these with my friends! How do I convert it to 12-standard-cupcake size bites? So excited…comparing your recipe with Annie’s Eats but I think I’ll go with yours cause I can’t get Boursin cheese :) hope it turns out fantastic!

    • says

      Hey! You could just make these in a regular muffin tin- press them in really well so they hold together. You may need to bake a little longer as well- just check that the cheese on top is golden and bubbly!

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  8. Nadine says

    Very tasty, and a perfect appetizer. I changed the cheeses used, because I needed a “white” appetizer to match my theme for our annual Oscar party. I’m going with Dinsey’s Frozen. I’m also making snowball cookies and blueberry Jell-O shots. :-)

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