You know I have a thing for cupcakes so this seemed like such a good idea. This is the absolute best Mac n Cheese ever, and I normally never, never, never eat mac n cheese. This is my go to mac n cheese for adults - it really is incredible. My little one still loves the blue box but the older one LOVES this mac n cheese. If you want to do cupcakes just follow directions at the bottom of recipe. Yes, I make these with the blue box for the little one but, wouldn't they be so great for a bar-b-que? Just set out in individual cups?
1 lb elbow macaroni or cavatappi
1 quart of milk
8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
1/2 c flour
12 oz (4c) grated Gruyere cheese
1 c grated Parmesan cheese
8 oz (2c) extra sharp grated cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp Tony Chachere's spice seasoning
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 c fresh bread crumbs (5 slices, crust removed) I always use Classic Seasoned Croutons instead of regular bread crumbs.
Preheat oven to 375º.
Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water. Add macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, 6-8 minutes. Drain well.
Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but do not boil. Melt 6 Tbsp of butter in a large (4 qt) pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth. Off heat, add Gruyere, cheddar, parmesan, 1 Tbsp salt, pepper, parsley and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and stir well. Pour into a 3 qt baking dish.
If you are making cupcake skip this step : Melt remaining 2 Tbsp of butter and combine them with your fresh bread crumbs, and sprinkle on top.
Bake your dish for 30min or until the sauce is bubbly and the top is browned.
Lightly grease muffin tins and spoon prepared macaroni into each tin. Add your bread crumbs to top and in your 375º oven just bake for about 15-20 minutes until tops are brown. Let them cool about 10 minutes then take them out of liners- they should be set by now. Serve immediately.