I always think of cupcakes as the “super easy” yet impressive dessert to make. Mix up the batter, scoop it into baking cups, bake, decorate and go! But I honestly never think of using my muffin tins for much “outside of the box” cooking, except for some roasted garlic cloves every now and then. So when I was lucky enough to receive a review copy of Muffin Tin Chef: 101 Savory Snacks, Adorable Appetizers, Enticing Entrees and Delicious Desserts to peruse and enjoy, I can honestly say that flipping through the pages was pure delight! As a mom who now constantly thinks of things in “bite size packages” I couldn’t get enough. A book full of yummy goodness that could be eaten with small hands yet impressive and simple to make for parties and guests at home!
The first recipe I was dying to try is no surprise to moms out there: mini macaroni and cheese! And the first occasion to make them for: a casual surprise party for my Grandma’s 90th birthday, as an accompaniment to a variety of sliders and other picnic food. And guess what – they’re just as delicious as they sound!
Mini Macaroni and Cheese
[recipe shared from Muffin Tin Chef: 101 Savory Snacks, Adorable Appetizers, Enticing Entrees and Delicious Desserts by Matt Kadey – with permission of the publishers]
8 ounces whole-grain macaroni (elbow) pasta
1. cups shredded cheddar cheese (about 6 ounces)
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces), divided
2 large eggs
¾ cup low-fat milk
⅓ cup plain low-fat yogurt, preferably Greek-style
½ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped chives
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon grainy or Dijon mustard (I kept this out)
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ cup panko (Japanese-style) bread crumbs
Cook the macaroni according to the package instructions until al dente. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Drain the pasta, return it to the pot, and stir in the cheddar cheese and ½ cup of the Parmesan cheese. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs and stir in the milk and yogurt. Add the egg mixture to the pasta mixture along with the sun-dried tomatoes, chives, cayenne, if using, nutmeg, mustard, salt, and pepper and mix well. Divide the mixture among 12 medium muffin cups. Heat the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Stir in the bread crumbs and cook until browned, stirring regularly. Stir the remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese into the toasted bread crumbs, sprinkle over the pasta mixture, and bake until set, about 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before unmolding.
I cut little squares of parchment paper to stuff in my muffin tins to make the unmolding easier, since I don’t have silicone muffin tins.
But even unmolded, they look just as pretty, and are still mess-free to eat!
And if you would like to check out these wonderful recipes for yourself, I have a little surprise for you!
You can win your very own copy of the book!
Just use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter!
You’ll need to leave a comment on the blog and then CLICK THE WIDGET to share that you did, and you can earn an extra entry by tweeting about the giveaway as well. The contest will close at MIDNIGHT on Friday June 8, 2012.