While I’m not too thrilled about the first few days of September starting off on a rainy note, (summer’s not over, summer’s not over) I am admittedly excited for warm, fall food. Any excuse to basically eat like sh*t is good enough for me. Enter boxed Mac & Cheese. (Guys I swear I eat veggies too.) The opportunities to make this 88-cent food item absolutely irresistible are endless. Make sure to check out my friend Lauren Durden’s article in Cosmo, “5 Hacks to Make Boxed Mac and Cheese Taste Gourmet” YAS. I’m always a big fan of easy apps and thought, hey, why not combine mac and cheese with well, everyone’s favorite cracker, the Cheez-It. Here’s my recipe on how to make these bad boys at home.
2 Boxes of Kraft Mac and Cheese
1/2 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese (Wisconsin recommended)
1/2 Stick of Butter
Cayenne Pepper for added spice
1/2 Cup of Crushed Cheez-Its
Ranch, BBQ or any topping of choice
- Make mac and cheese as directed on the box, adding cayenne and shredded cheese
- Crush Cheez-Its in a ziplock baggie and preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Grease muffin pan well and sprinkle the bottoms with Cheez-It crumble
- Add mac and cheese to muffin pan and sprinkle with Cheez-it crumble and top with additional cheese
- Cook for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Let the muffins sit for 5 minutes after to let set.
- Pop out gently with a fork, add your toppings and serve warm
The results of the Mac & Cheez It muffin bites were quite a success. They’re a great idea for a fall BBQ or football game.
Always a fan on condiments and toppings, I took a little creative liberty and added a drizzle here and there of Ranch dressing and BBQ sauce. Don’t forget the green onion! Some other ideas for toppings could include: bacon, pancetta, crushed red pepper, jalapeños, bleu cheese, hot sauce, you name it.
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Photography: Libby Rasmussen