I've made these awesome little bites about four times and this is the first time I've been able to get a decent picture before they were eaten. I served them last Sunday night with grilled hamburgers and fresh watermelon.
Mini Mac and Cheese Bites
Source: My Italian Grandmother
1/2 lb elbow macaroni
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (1 packed cup)
4 ounces deli-sliced American cheese, chopped
1 large egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika (I used regular)
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 425°
In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the macaroni until al dente. Drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking process and to keep the macaroni from sticking to itself.
Spray two 12 cup muffin tins with Pam and sprinkle half the Parmigiano cheese into the bottom of the cups. (Can also use mini muffin tins)
In a large saucepan, melt the butter, then over medium heat, whisk in the flour. Cook for two minutes until boiling. Whisk in the milk and continue whisking until boiling, about 5 minutes. It should be nice and thick. Stir in the American and cheddar cheeses until melted. Off the heat, stir in the egg yolk and paprika. Fold in the macaroni. This is also a good time to taste and season accordingly. I like to add salt and a lot of pepper during this step.
Spoon evenly into the muffin cups and sprinkle with remaining Parmigiano cheese. (I have decided to skip this step and put all the Parmigiano cheese into the bottom of the tins, I think it makes the bites a little too crunchy to have this extra cheese on top, but that's just our preference).
Bake in the upper part of the oven for about ten minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes so they don't fall apart. Use a spoon to remove them from the muffin tins.
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