Monday, July 21, 2014

Mac and Cheese Bites

Kidster and Little Man are not big fans of mac and cheese or pasta in general so I thought maybe if they were in a more handheld form they would be a bit more interested in it.  These were a big hit with both kids and adults alike!  Hubster couldn’t stop eating them!  They were pretty easy but had quite a few steps.  I didn’t have any breadcrumbs on hand so I used pulverized and seasoned Cheerios.  The ‘milling’ blade that comes with the Baby Bullet came in super handy!

I don’t have a link to any particular recipe.  I just did a bit of research and used a few different recipes as a guideline.

1 cup elbow macaroni (veggie pasta version)

1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
1/2 cup breadcrumbs 1/2 cup milk
1 tsp olive oil salt and pepper
1 egg flour
1 T half and half or
1 1/2 tsp butter
cooking spray
  • Boil 1 cup of elbow pasta (I used the veggie pasta version) for 8 minutes.  You want the pasta to still be firm.  Next time I think I’ll use the ditalini pasta.
  • Mix breadcrumbs or pulverized Cheerios (I added pizza seasoning to the Cheerios) with olive oil.  Enough to make it a crumbly texture.  1/2 cup of breadcrumbs and 1 tsp olive oil.
  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Drain pasta and return to pot.
  • Beat together one egg and 1 T of half and half (or 1 1/2 tsp butter, whatever you would add to make scrambled eggs).
  • Add egg mixture to pasta making sure all pasta is coated.
  • Alternate mixing a cup of shredded cheese and 1/2 cup milk into the pasta until a sauce is made. 
    • It is important that the pasta and the pot are still warm but not on the still hot burner.  You want a more 'soupy' texture than your average mac and cheese.  This will make sure all the pasta is kept moist while baking. You'll want to keep aside an extra half cup of shredded cheese for the topping.
  • Spray the mini muffin pan.  Then flour the pan.
  • Use a tablespoon  or cookie scoop to spoon the pasta into the muffin pan.    The “muffins” won't rise or shrink so however you fill it is pretty much what you'll get.  You'll want to make sure that the sauce is covering the pasta.
    • Allow the sauce to 'reserve' in the bottom of the pot to pour over at the end before you put the breadcrumbs on top. 
  • Cover the muffins with shredded cheese and generously sprinkle the breadcrumbs.  I would use about a half tablespoon of crumb mixture on top to help the pasta stay moist.  Better to err on the side of too much than too little.
  • Bake for 15 minutes

I baked it for 15 minutes and checked them.  You want the topping to be browned.  I wasn't sure about the cheerios topping browning (I eyeballed the olive oil..).  I baked them for another 6 minutes.  I'm pretty sure they would have been fine at 15 minutes though. 

Mac and Cheese Bites

Next week I’ll show you how to make your own Honey Nut Cheerios!

What’s YOUR favorite mac and cheese recipe?


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