Recipe: Mac-N-Cheese Mini Muffins

We had some of our close friends over on Saturday night for dinner and I decided to try out a new recipe that I have been drooling over for a while... Mac-N-Cheese mini muffins.  They were so fabulous!!  We received tons of compliments on them and can't wait to make them again.  Next time, I plan to add some bacon.  Yummy!!

**This is also the same recipe I use to make homemade mac-n-cheese.  Simply leave out the eggs and 1/4 cup of bread crumbs.  Place in a glass baking dish instead of muffin tin and sprinkle a handful of the breadcrumbs/butter mixture on top.  Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.  Delish!

I snagged the original recipe from Yahoo here... http://shine.yahoo.com/tistheseason/tis-season-mini-mac-n-cheese-muffins-004800028.html  and made some changes to make it a little easier.  Here is my abridged version...

Mini Mac n' Cheese Muffins
These bite-sized treats are perfect for a holiday party whether you're a guest or the host.

Yields: 48 mini muffins


1 lb. small elbow pasta
1 stick butter, divided in 1/2
1/2 cup flour

2 cups whole milk
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 lb. cheddar cheese, grated  **I usually use a combination of cheeses; mild cheddar, extra sharp cheddar, pepper jack... basically whatever I have on hand.  Sometimes I add 1 8oz package of cream cheese, just to make them extra creamy**
2 eggs, whisked
1/2 cup bread crumbs, divided in 1/2
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
salt to taste

Special equipment:
24 count mini muffin tin


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bring salted water to a rolling boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Cook until soft.

Make Mornay sauce by melting 1/2 stick of butter and mixing in the flour. Cook the butter and flour together for a few minutes to cook out the raw flour taste. Slowly add the milk and whisk in. When sauce thickens remove from heat and add grated cheese and can of cheese soup. Season with salt and cayenne. Add sauce to the cooked pasta Then add 1/4 cup of bread crumbs and eggs. Stir the mixture.

Melt the remaining 1/2 stick of butter and blend in with the remaining bread crumbs. Set bread crumb mixture aside.

Liberally grease mini muffin tins.

Spoon the mac n' cheese mixture into the muffin tins. Garnish with bread crumb mixture and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until browned on top and somewhat firm to the touch.

Cool for about 15 minutes before removing them. If you have trouble removing them cool for a bit longer.