Macaroni & Cheese Bites

It’s barbecue season, and what could be a better offering to bring to a friend’s garden party than handily bite-sized macaroni and cheese morsels?  These are super easy to make and were a big hit, getting polished off before all the guests had even arrived.  There’s caramelized onion in the mac & cheese, which gives the flavor some depth (as my husband said, “this tastes hipstery”), and you can throw in any cheese that appeals or is on hand.  Big thanks to i am a food blog for the recipe!  I made them in a mini-muffin pan, and the size turned out perfect for people to just pop a whole one into their mouths on the go.  And even better, this is all it took (plus flour):

Mac and cheese 1

The quantities below will make 18-20 mini muffins.  I doubled the recipe and came out with 40.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 cup milk, cold
  • 3/4 cup shredded gruyere & Italian five cheese mix, combined
  • 2 tablespoons diced onions, caramelized
  • 1 cup macaroni
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • green onions for garnish

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a pot of boiling, salted water, cook the macaroni until al dente and drain.
  • While the pasta is cooking, heat the butter over medium low heat in a small sauce pan.  When nice and bubbly, add flour and whisk to combine into a thick paste.  Turn the heat to low and continue to whisk until the roux is cooked, but not brown (I will freely admit that mine was one the brownish side).  When the roux looks slightly grainy, it’s time to add your cold milk.  Add the cold milk all at once and whisk.  Your sauce will look lumpy at first, but as the milk heats up, the lumps will disappear.  Continue to stir over medium low heat until the sauce is bubbly and thick.  Stir in 1/2 cup of your shredded cheese mix and the caramelized onions.  Season with pepper to taste.

Mac and cheese 2

  • In a bowl, fold the macaroni into the cheese sauce.  Spoon the mac and cheese into a lightly buttered/oiled mini muffin pan.  Try to squish the mac and cheese down into the tin; this will help the muffins hold their shape.  Top with the remaining cheese and bake for 30-35 minutes or until tops are nice and brown.

Mac and cheese 3

Mac and cheese 4

  • Let the mac & cheese bites cool for 15-20 minutes before removing from the muffin tin.  Garnish with snips of green onion for color.

Mac and cheese 5

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