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Mini mac and cheese bites

Last night we got together with friends to watch the UO, USC game. Deep sofas, a fire in the fireplace, a vast array of great food and a victory for the Ducks made for the perfect evening!

I brought these mini mac and cheese bites and they were every bit as good as they look. I baked half of them in a large, non-stick, 12-mini muffin tin, and the other half in regular, aluminum mini muffin baking tins. Even though I sprayed them liberally with non-stick spray, those in the regular tins didn’t turn out as well. The next time I make them (and I will be making them again!) I will take my time and use the same non-stick pan twice. Makes 24.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups packed shredded cheddar cheese 
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni, cooked and drained

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray nonstick mini muffin pans with cooking spray. Using half (or less) of the Parmesan cheese, sprinkle in the bottom of each muffin pan. Prepare topping by combining the remaining Parmesan cheese with Panko bread crumbs. 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. Take off heat and add the cheddar cheese. Stir together to melt. Whisk in the egg yolks, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir in the cooked macaroni.

Spoon the macaroni and cheese into the prepared mini muffin pan(s), filling each cup to the top. Pack each one down gently. Sprinkle with topping mixture.

Bake for about 10 minutes, until golden and sizzling. Let cool for 10 minutes. Use a butter knife to carefully loosen the mini mac and cheese bites, and remove from pan. Transfer to platter and serve warm.

You can make these ahead of time and refrigerate them. Reheat in a 425 degree oven for 5 minutes.

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