I attended my very first book club the other weekend… we had read ‘The Help’ and wanted to have a southern themed dinner in honor of the book’s setting.
We already had fried chicken, cornbread and caramel cake on the menu so I wanted to bring a side. Perhaps because it’s been months since I’ve had a nice, cheesy pasta dish the only thing I could think of was macaroni and cheese! Since I
didn’t want to feel tempted to eat the whole thing wanted to make them individual and cute I decided to try this recipe from the Paula Deen Bros. for Mini Macaroni and Cheese Pies!
1 1/2 cups crushed Ritz crackers (about 35 crackers)
2 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese (10 ounces)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 1/2 cups cooked elbow macaroni (8 ounces uncooked), drained and kept hot
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 8 cups of a 12-cup muffin pan.
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 ½ cup of the cheddar cheese. In a small bowl, combine the eggs, milk, sour cream, cold butter pieces, and salt. Stir the milk mixture into the macaroni.
Spoon 2 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.
I followed the recipe exactly as this was my first time making them (and because the whole wheat dough I tried the night before turned out terrible and never even rose…I will be trying this guy again, it looks deeish!). I also doubled the ingredients and had enough for 24 mini pies and 1 mini casserole.
Though the mac and cheeses were very, very good (Hubby actually had 2 for breakfast the next morning!) I think I will add a bit more cheese the next time since I personally don’t think you can ever have too much cheese. I also think I will use an extra sharp cheddar and maybe a colby-jack to add a bit more flavor to it.
The Ritz cracker crust..?! Heavenly!! I can’t wait to make these in the future for parties and even holiday dinners. I also read that some people substituted Cheez-Its for the Ritz to add to the cheesy-ness. Perhaps I’ll try this next time! I love the portion control of the muffin size but I’ll be honest, it’s hard to eat just one!
PS – My friend made a delicious Caramel Cake (like Minnie!) and it was just as amazing!