Mac & Cheese Cups

Fresh out of the oven, mac & cheese cups cool quickly. These bite-sized treats make a perfect snack or meal. Photo by Sadie Tresnit.

How could you possibly make macaroni and cheese even better? It’s a question I’ve frequently pondered, and at first, it seems to have no answer. Mac & cheese is already the best, right? Well, allow me to introduce you to the supreme form of the supreme food: mac & cheese cups! My macaroni recipe below is from Mollie Katzen’s Honest Pretzels cookbook. I think it’s delicious, but you can use any recipe you want.

First, preheat your oven to 350℉ and cook two cups of macaroni. When the macaroni has cooked, drain it and set it aside. Next, measure two cups of milk and heat it on low on the stove, or put it in the microwave for approximately 1.5 minutes. It should be hot, but not boiling. Melt two tablespoons of butter in a saucepan on the stove. When the butter has melted, mix in two tablespoons of flour and two teaspoons of dry mustard. Whisk this mixture until all the lumps are gone, and then for an additional 30 seconds.

Now, slowly add the warm milk to this, turn the heat to medium-low, and stir for three minutes. The mixture should get thicker. When it has, add one cup of cheddar cheese and ⅓ cup of parmesan cheese, or whatever sort of cheese you prefer. These are my favorites. Stir until the cheese has melted, then set this sauce aside while you pour the cooked pasta into a large bowl. Now, pour the sauce into this bowl and mix the macaroni and cheese well.

Here’s where my family’s recipe comes in. Instead of eating the mac & cheese as it is, we like to scoop it into a muffin pan, sprinkle as much shredded cheese as you can handle on top of each cup, and bake them until they’re golden. If you’re saving them for later, allow the mac & cheese cups to cool so they hold their shape. Enjoy!

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