8.10.2008

Mac and Cheese Bites



Anything small is big. Pick up a foodie magazine and there will undoubtedly be a recipe for a small version of a favorite food. Slider-sized burgers made of ground beef or turkey, mini lobster rolls, shots of gazpacho or clam chowder, and bite-sized chicken tacos. The culinary world is in love with "The Mini."

As I was planning for a client's birthday barbecue bash, I suggested Mac and Cheese Bites - a macaroni and double cheese one-bite appetizer or side dish. I have served these cheesy nibbles with barbecued baby back ribs, grilled lemon chicken, and pulled pork sandwiches.

The Mac and Cheese Bites can be made ahead of dinner or party time and reheated just before serving. Add this recipe to your file and enjoy mac and cheese a little more often.



Mac and Cheese Bites

adapted from a recipe in Food & Wine magazine November, 2007

makes about 36 bites

1 1/2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups, packed, sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated, plus more for sprinkling on top
3 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
1/2 pound elbow macaroni, cooked and drained

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 24-count, nonstick mini muffin pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and bring to a boil. Cook, whisking occasionally, for about 2 -3 minutes until thickened. Add cheddar and Parmesan cheeses and stir to melt. Remove from heat and stir in egg yolks, salt and nutmeg. Stir in macaroni.

Spoon slightly rounded tablespoons of macaroni and cheese into the prepared mini muffin pan. Each cup should be filled to the top. Pack each one down gently. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.

Bake for about 10 minutes, until golden and sizzling. Let cool for 10 - 15 minutes. Using a teaspoon, carefully loosen the mac and cheese bites and transfer to a platter to serve.

To make ahead, bake and cool mac and cheese bites. Sprinkle with a little more Parmesan cheese. Package and refrigerate. Place bites on a baking sheet and bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 5 minutes. Serve warm.


26 comments:

Bridgett said...

My daughter was sitting here looking at the picture, so guess who gets to make these now? They look delicious and are a perfect size.

Lisa said...

These are so cute! I love all of your appetizer ideas.

PaniniKathy said...

I must admit, I'm a sucker for all the "mini-foods"! I love the idea of bite-sized mac & cheese - *maybe* it'll keep me from overindulging. Maybe.

kat said...

they sure are cute but I love mac & cheese so much I'd be eating a whole batch myself

Patsyk said...

Oh, I think I know what I'll be making come September! These are a perfect size to send in my youngest's lunch box! I love all things mini since I can eat more of them and not feel like I over did it! :)

Rindy R said...

Love this idea when I have tons of kids over for a playdate!!! Thanks!

Jenny said...

Absolutely adorable! I've got to try this. Love your blog, I'll be back often to visit!!

Cheryl said...

My favorite food in the world! I had baby back ribs last night, I wish I had seen this yesterday!

Paula said...

I love mini bites of food! My daughter would go nuts over this. She loves mac and cheese, and these bite sized morsels would make her day! Great post!

Katherine Aucoin said...

My girls would go absolutely crazy over this. Sounds like a great a surprise for their first day of school!

Prudy said...

That is the cutest idea ever!

Pam said...

YUM! I love the idea of a bite size mac and cheese. I don't think I could just do one bite though - they look really addictive.

Emiline said...

I love mac and cheese, and I love mini things, so I know I would love these!

Sharon said...

Cute idea! I suppose I'm trendy as I love mini foods :) I'd probably eat more of these than I would if I served myself a bowl of mac 'n cheese.

maybelle's mom said...

how cute. these would be very baby friendly.

katie said...

Hey! I made these to go with some ribs last night, they were neat! The allspice freaked my guests out a little, I heard one reference it as "christmas macaroni and cheese," lol. The kids gave them a mixed review half gobbled them up and half wouldn't touch them (too homemadey I'm sure). I thought they were good but my cheddar was super oily so I baked them a little extra to get them nice and crunchy. My favorite part of a baked macaroni and cheese is the crunchy top, this was like all the best crunchy parts!

EAT! said...

katie - glad you got to make these - the recipe calls for nutmeg - not allspice - maybe that made them a little funky.

Anonymous said...

Made these for a party - they were a hit! I grilled up some good sausage and cut a little slice for on top. A fun, bite sized version of mac and cheese with hot dogs! Just make sure to wait until they're cooled to take them out of the tin (and that you pressed them down well) otherwise they'll fall apart. I set them on a paper towel first so the grease wasn't on my serving dish.

Anonymous said...

Um im a 14 year old girl and i tried making this today and how do you get the bites to not hmm when i got it out and cooled it, they broke into pieces..?Help please?

EAT! said...

anonymous - sorry your m&c bites did not stay together. Make sure you spray the muffin pan with cooking spray. Also press down the mixture in the muffin cup so it is more compact. Let them cool and then lift out with a small spoon. Good luck!!

shelleyls62 said...

Just made these to serve at Super Bowl party tomorrow. They came out perfect!!! Can't wait to put them out for all to enjoy :)

Tina @ MOMS CRAZY COOKING said...

YUM! We loved these bites. I just wanted to send you a little note letting you know that I featured you and your bites today on my blog! We are searching for the ULTIMATE Macaroni & Cheese recipe and I choose to use this recipe! Thanks so much for posting & sharing this. I hope you stop by and read all about it:

http://momscrazycooking.blogspot.com/2011/09/macaroni-and-cheese-bites-crazy-cooking.html

danceandbeglad said...

I am looking forward to serving these this Sun. for a holiday party. I am wondering if they would freeze well, so I could get them made early. Not sure how long they'd keep in the fridge and I have a lot going on later this weekend!

EAT! said...

danceandbeglad - they will be fine in the refrigerator a couple days. You can also freeze them. Just take them out about 30 minutes before heating and you may need to add a couple minutes to the reheat time. I would just sprinkle a little more cheese on top before warming in the oven.

Susan, the party bee said...

looking for substantial appetizers to round out my wine party. these will be perfect. Thank you. i'll credit you.

EAT! said...

susan, the party bee - glad to help. I stopped by your blog and love it. I am planning on more impromptu parties this year so I will be stopping by your site for ideas.

take care.