These mac and cheese canapes, essentially baked mac and cheese bites, are made from macaroni and sharp Cheddar cheese and baked in mini-muffin tins. Perfect finger food for kids and adults. Cocktail party, anyone?
Why You Can't Use Your Favorite Mac And Cheese For This Recipe
Though it may be tempting to take your fave macaroni and cheese recipe and simply plop it in mini-muffin tins, don’t try it. [Editor’s Note: Trust us. We speak from experience.] The technique of making backed mini mac and cheese canapés requires a mac and cheese incarnation that’s not runny and ooey and gooey. Especially when you bear in mind that you’ll be serving these canapés to guests who will be holding them aloft, probably in the vicinity of your carpets and rugs. That’s all to say precisely why you need this recipe.
Mac and Cheese Canapés
- Quick Glance
- 25 M
- 40 M
- Makes 16 to 24
Special Equipment: Mini-muffin tin
Preheat the oven to 425ºF (218ºC). Generously butter a 24-cup mini-muffin tin and, if desired, sprinkle the cups with breadcrumbs. (If you’re baking the canapés in batches, reserve some of the butter and breadcrumbs, if using, for the second batch.)
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until it’s just barely beginning to soften and is at the early stages of al dente. Drain the pasta, rinse it under cold water, and return it to the pot.
Meanwhile, melt the 1 tablespoon butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in the flour and cook, still stirring constantly, for 1 minute, or until the mixture turns slightly beige and is bubbly. Increase the heat to medium and slowly whisk in the warm milk. Bring to a boil, whisking almost constantly. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the cheeses to the sauce in 1/2-cup increments, stirring until the cheese melts before making another addition. Pour the sauce over the pasta and stir well.
Beat the egg yolk with the cream and mustard, if using, and stir it into the pasta. Season with salt and pepper, and press the mixture into the prepared mini-muffin cups. (You may not fill all 24 of the cups.)
Bake the canapés for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cheese sauce is bubbly and the tops are light brown. Let them rest for 5 minutes in the pan, then turn them out onto a platter and pass ASAP. The canapés can be baked, cooled, and refrigerated, tightly covered, for up to 2 days. Reheat them in a 375ºF (190ºC) until warmed through, 7 to 10 minutes.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
A lovely little mouthful! What can one say about the flavors as familiar to most of us as apple pie? Well, this cheesy, creamy, slightly crunchy bite was really quite delightful. I loved the addition of the mustard—made it feel a little more sophisticated—but I also think a little pinch of cayenne would go down a treat. A little time-consuming in that you need to make the cream sauce and then fill the fiddly little cups, but really all in all a good bit of nosh. I used ditalini pasta, as mac and cheese for me is always elbow macaroni, so I found this the best shape to hold the sauce and the perfect reminder of childhood. I think this is something most everyone can do and would be loved by all.
These are very tasty and not that hard to make. Do be sure to press the mixture into the mini muffin tins and to let them sit in the tin for at least 5 minutes, if not more, before placing them on your serving platter. Some of mine came apart when I was trying to get them out and I think it was because I didn’t press some of them in well enough or I didn’t let them sit long enough. Mine were perfectly baked after 12 minutes. I chose to use ditalini and used the optional Dijon mustard, which I think gave them a nice touch. I did reheat a few as directed and it worked perfectly. We all thought these were a fun way to make mac and cheese and would be a great appetizer.