Monday, February 27, 2012

Mini Mac and Cheese Pies

I thought these mini pies turned out incredibly well. I loved the Rtiz cracker crust! I have revised the recipe below to include some changes for a future repeat as the first time I made these they were a bit greasy. So I have reduced both the amount of butter as well as cheese for a better version of this yummy mac and cheese pie.

1 and 1/2 cups Ritz crackers, crushed**I used one whole sleeve
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated and divided
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
4 cups cooked elbow macaroni (about 8 ounces uncooked)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Pinch red pepper flakes

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Dip a piece of paper towel in melted butter and lightly grease 8 cups of a 12-cup muffin pan. The crust has plenty of butter in it and you will end up with grease overload if you spray the muffin cups with cooking spray as the original recipe suggested. (Fill the empty cups with a little water. That is a trick I learned so that they will not burn.)
In a bowl, combine the crackers, 1 cup of the cheddar cheese, and the melted butter. Divide the mixture among the prepared muffin cups and press firmly in the bottom and up the sides of the cups.

In a large bowl, mix the macaroni with 1/2 cup of the cheddar cheese. In a small bowl, combine the eggs, milk, sour cream, salt, black pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Stir the milk mixture into the macaroni. Taste and season with more salt and black pepper if you feel it is bland.

Spoon a few tablespoons of the macaroni mixture into each cracker crust and top with the remaining cheddar cheese. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the cheese is browned and slightly crispy. Allow the pies to cool slightly before unmolding and serving warm.

Source: adapted from Epicurious
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