MINI BITES: MAC + CHEESE CUPS

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Everyone needs a recipe or two in their bag of tricks that the kids love and appreciate every time it’s served. This is that dish for me and considering how popular mac + cheese is, that’s probably not surprising. But I wouldn’t share just any old basic mac recipe with you. This one has a few steps perfect for a mini sous chef to help with, a hint of mustard for a grownup flavor and the cups make it easy to serve for lunch, dinner or snacks at a get-together. It’s also a really nice excuse to turn on the oven which is my favorite thing to do in the middle of winter. A quick word of caution tho, it has the potential to ruin boxed mac and cheese for your kids forever. Can’t say I blame them :) Keep scrolling for the recipe!

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HOMEMADE MACARONI + CHEESE BITES (makes 12)

You’ll Need –

  • 2 cups dried macaroni
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1-1/4 cups whole milk
  • 8 ounces white cheddar cheese, grated, plus more for topping
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • bread or panko crumbs for topping
  • OPTIONAL – cayenne pepper or paprika to taste

Here’s How –

  1. Bring water to a boil, add macaroni and cook until slightly firm. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, beat the egg and set aside. Melt butter in a large pot being careful not to burn. Add flour and whisk constantly over med-low heat for a couple minutes. Pour in the milk and mustard and whisk together. Cook and whisk for about 5 more minutes until mixture is very thick then reduce heat to low.
  3. Temper the egg by adding 1/4 cup of mixture to it and whisking constantly until smooth. Pour egg mixture into large pot and whisk together. Add cheese and stir until melted. Add salt, pepper and any other spices to taste… don’t under-salt.
  4. Add prepared macaroni noodles and stir until coated with cheese mixture. You can serve immediately or make into cups…
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and set your little helper up with a work station (or DIY) — grease muffin tin or set out liners (we used THESE which come in handy for lunches too) as well as shredded cheese and bread crumbs for topping. Scoop mac + cheese into prepared muffin tin. Sprinkle with a generous amount of bread crumbs and cheese and then bake for 15 minutes. Let set for 10 minutes before serving!

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If you’re not sure what’s for dinner tonight I highly recommend giving these a try and making extra for lunch the next day. They go great with oven roasted broccoli or cauliflower. Yum.

What have you been cooking lately?

XO, Rae

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2 Responses to MINI BITES: MAC + CHEESE CUPS

  1. kimber January 13, 2016 at #

    mmmm. sounds delicious!! do you by chance have a shopping source for those awesome food trays?? They are just perfect for littles!

    • rae January 13, 2016 at #

      They are so nice for the kids and go in the dishwasher! I got them from Target in the same isle as all the kid silverware, cups, etc. XO

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