Remember those rainy days when you had a stuffy nose and just wanted to stay home with your mom? She'd take care of you with all sorts of good home cooked comfort foods like mac and cheese and freshly baked muffins. So this Mother's Day, combine the two to show mom how much you appreciate all those rainy days.
Bonus nostalgia points for replacing the traditional bread crumb topping with some of your favorite cereals and snacks from childhood. We went with Rice Chex, Corn Flakes, Sun Chips and pretzels.
Ingredients (yields 12 muffins)
– 4 cups cooked rigatoni, macaroni, fusili
– 2 tbsp butter
– 1 tbsp flour
– 1 cup milk (reduced fat, skim, whole)
– 3 egg whites
– 1 1/2 cups gruyere + 1/4 cup reserved
– 3/4 cups sharp cheddar
– 1 cup "bread crumbs"
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Then, get those noodles cooked and set aside. We used rotini.
While the noodles boil, get everything you need for the cheese sauce ready. Grate your cheese, measure out the milk, flour and butter. Crack the eggs and separate the whites.
To create the cheese sauce, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour slowly, making sure the consistency stays uniform. Add the milk, and bring to just under a boil.
Now it's time to start adding cheese. Add slowly and keep stirring. Reduce heat if it starts thickening up too quickly. You want it to be around the same consistency as a traditional alfredo sauce.
Once all the cheese has been added, remove from heat. Add in the egg whites and whisk together.
Add the cheese egg white sauce to the pasta and mix together evenly. Add salt and pepper to taste. If you want to throw greens into the mix, we recommend broccoli, asparagus, or spinach.
Spoon the macaroni mix into a muffin pan.
Now, time to top those muffins!
For the cereal and chips, you can crush with your hands on a cutting board. For the pretzel rods, you'll need to use a ziploc bag + hammer. For each topping, you'll need about 1/4 cup for three muffins.
We topped three with Rice Chex, three with Corn Flakes, three with Sun Chips, and three with crushed up pretzels.
Top with the remaining 1/4 cup of gruyere and a sprinkle of parmesan if you have it on hand. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the tops have browned a little bit.
Let cool for 5-10 minutes, so the muffins can bond together.
Serve for brunch, lunch, dinner, or for a tasty midnight snack!
We'd love to try making a batch of these topped with tortilla chips, rice krispies, and other bits of crunchy goodness.
What are your go-to Mother's Day recipes? Got any hacks on classic Mac and Cheese we should know about? Leave us a note in the comments below, or send recipe ideas our way on Twitter or Facebook. And if you give them a try, share your pics and we'll post the best ones on our blog!