We can't think of many parties that a platter or two of these bacon macaroni and cheese bites would be inappropriate at. Hosting a fancier affair? They're the perfect high-low contrast to a glass of champagne or sparkling wine (its crisp flavor and effervescence will cut through the cheesy richness). Throwing a game day party? They're a no-brainer inclusion. Kid's birthday bash? All but the pickiest of eaters will be into them.
In addition to being ridiculously cute and tasty, they're also pretty easy to make. Yes, it takes some time to divvy up the mac and cheese between the muffin tins, but it's not really any fussier than baking off a big batch of cookies.
Really, what's not to love in this combination: carbs + cheese + bacon?
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
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