The only way to make mac & cheese even more addictive? Turning it into these unbelievable mac & cheese bites! These squares of gooey mac & cheese fried in Panko bread crumbs are the ultimate finger food and a guaranteed hit at any party. A word of advice? Make some big batches – because these bites won’t last long!
MAC & CHEESE BITES
– Coarse salt
– 1 pound elbow macaroni
– 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
– 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
– 4 cups milk, room temperature
– 3/4 teaspoon cayenne
– 4 3/4 cups grated white cheddar cheese (about 14 ounces), room temperature
– 1/2 to 3/4 cup safflower oil, for frying, plus more for parchment
– 4 large eggs
– 2 cups Panko
2. In pot, melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Whisk in fl our, and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is pale golden and has a nutty aroma, about 4 minutes. Whisking constantly, slowly add milk. Cook, whisking along bottom of pot, until boiling, about 7 minutes. Reduce heat and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat, and add remaining 1 tablespoon butter and the cheese. Stir until melted and sauce is smooth; season with salt. Add macaroni to sauce, and stir to combine.
3. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with parchment; brush parchment lightly with oil. Spread macaroni mixture evenly in dish. Cover and refrigerate until firm, at least 8 hours.
4. Invert set macaroni and cheese onto a cutting board and remove parchment. Cut into 1-inch squares with a sharp knife.
5. Whisk eggs in a shallow dish. Combine panko and cayenne in another shallow dish, and season with salt. Dip macaroni squares, a few at a time, in eggs, allowing excess to drip off into dish, then roll in panko mixture to coat completely. Transfer to a wire rack set on a baking sheet.
6. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium until shimmering. Working in batches, add coated squares in a single layer (do not crowd pan); cook, turning occasionally, until all sides are crisp and golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes total. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined rack to drain and cool slightly. Wipe skillet clean. Repeat process with more oil and remaining squares. Serve warm.
What do you think of these addicting mac & cheese bites? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.