Make ahead: this recipe can be prepped up to the point of topping the macaroni bites with parmesan and refrigerated overnight. They may need an extra minute of baking to brown properly.
- 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus melted butter for greasing the tins
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole milk
4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 packed cup)
4 ounces deli-sliced American cheese, chopped
1 large egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
2 slices thick-cut bacon (about 3 ounces), cooked and chopped
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Brush the wells of four 12-cup, nonstick mini muffin tins with melted butter. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the parmesan cheese, pressing it up the sides of the wells.
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the macaroni until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain, shaking off the excess water.
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt the 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and cook, whisking constantly, until boiling and thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the cheddar and American cheeses and whisk until melted. Off the heat, whisk in the egg yolk and paprika. Fold in the bacon and macaroni.
- Fill the wells of the muffin tins to the top with macaroni, using damp fingertips to pack the macaroni into the tins. Sprinkle the remaining parmesan on top.
- Bake the mini macs in the upper and middle thirds of the oven for about 10 minutes, until golden and sizzling, rotating the pans halfway through cooking. Let cool for 5 minutes. Using a spoon, carefully loosen the mini macs, transfer to a platter and serve.
- Appetizers, Finger Foods
- About 48 mini macs