Slam Dunk Fried Mac and Cheese Bites!

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Spring is in the air! You know what that means don’t you? It’s time for March Madness! Around here, the hubby and I get super excited when it is time for March Madness. He loves the game completely. The excitement, the competition, the thrill of the bracket. Me? I love the food! I’m not saying I don’t love the game because I really do. I just love all the good comforting snack food that goes along with it. This year we will be having a few friends over to celebrate (or comfort in the event of a loss .. LOL). Thanks to Target and Cheez-It we were able to put together some delicious game day snacks, like these awesome Slam Dunk Mac and Cheese Bites.

Serve up these Slam Dunk Mac and Cheese Bites at your next March Madness party. Cheesy, portable, comfort food with help from @CheezIt and @Target

 

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Serve up these Slam Dunk Mac and Cheese Bites at your next March Madness party. Cheesy, portable, comfort food with help from @CheezIt and @Target

Planning for the party is simple. Good friends, good food and great basketball. Those are the three main ingredients for a perfect get together. Am I right? March Madness brings the basketball, you already hand picked the good friends, all that is left is the good food. Ask yourself a few questions before deciding on your menu ..

  1. Will it be a casual event or a formal event?
  2.  Will you serve finger food or a full meal?
  3.  Will kids be attending or just adults?
  4.  Who are you rooting for?

Once you have the answers to those 4 questions, it will be much easier to decide what you’re making. We almost always go for a casual event. The more casual the better actually. I’m not talking come in your PJ’s casual, just relaxed, comfortable fun. All of our kids are teens, so that makes that an easy answer. We are all rooting for different teams it seems. May the best man .. ahem team win! Last but not least, finger foods it is. Cold beverages, popcorn, peanuts, Spicy Sriracha Snack Mix, and Cheez-It Hot & Spicy Grooves are a must have! I do like to make something that will also fill us up. What better food than Mac and Cheese? Mac and cheese that is portable, and covered in a crispy crunchy coating from the Cheez-It Hot & Spicy Grooves. Sounds perfect doesn’t it? Here is how you can make them too.

Serve up these Slam Dunk Mac and Cheese Bites at your next March Madness party. Cheesy, portable, comfort food with help from @CheezIt and @Target

Be sure to head over to your local Target store, where the large boxes of Cheez-It products are 3 for $8 the 3rd week of February – the 1st week of April. Cheez-It Crackers are the perfect game day or any time snack!

Slam Dunk Mac and Cheese Bites!

Makes 30 – 40  bites – depending on size

Serve up these Slam Dunk Mac and Cheese Bites at your next March Madness party. Cheesy, portable, comfort food with help from @CheezIt and @TargetIngredients:

  • 1 16 oz. box small elbow noodles – cooked and drained
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour + 1 Cup flour for breading
  • 1 Tablespoon mustard powder
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 5 Cups whole milk
  • 2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 Cups  cheddar Jack cheese
  • 8 oz. creamy havarti cheese – cut in chunks
  • 2 Cups crushed Cheez-It Hot & Spicy Grooves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons water

Directions:

Serve up these Slam Dunk Mac and Cheese Bites at your next March Madness party. Cheesy, portable, comfort food with help from @CheezIt and @Target

Cook elbow noodles al dente according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

In the same pot used to cook the noodles, melt the butter on medium heat.

Whisk in the 3 Tablespoons flour and spices. Cook for one minute, stirring constantly so it does not burn.

Slowly whisk in the milk a cup at a time. Whisk constantly to remove any lumps.

Bring the milk mixture to a steady simmer, stirring frequently. Simmer on medium heat for 4 – 7 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Make sure to continue to stir with your whisk to prevent scorching.

Once the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, remove from the heat and add in your cheese.

Stir until everything has melted together.

Fold in your cooked elbow noodles.

Refrigerate your mac and cheese for at least one hour so it firms up a bit.

Serve up these Slam Dunk Mac and Cheese Bites at your next March Madness party. Cheesy, portable, comfort food with help from @CheezIt and @Target

Once your mac and cheese is firm, set up your dredging station. (3 separate bowls – 1 cup flour. 2 large eggs whisked with 2 Tablespoons water. 2 cups crushed Cheez-It Hot & Spicy Grooves)

Using an ice cream scoop or a large Tablespoon, scoop out a spoonful of the chilled mac and cheese.

Roll into a ball. Coat with flour, then egg mixture, then Cheez-It Hot & Spicy Grooves crumbs. Place on a baking sheet until you have assembled all of your Mac and Cheese bites.

Using an electric fryer, or a deep skillet with just enough oil to cover the mac and cheese bites. Heat the oil to 350 degrees.

Working in small batches, fry the mac and cheese bites evenly on all sides until golden brown. About 5 minutes.

Remove to a paper towel to drain off the excess oil.

Serve hot with  warm marinara or cool creamy ranch dip.

Serve up these Slam Dunk Mac and Cheese Bites at your next March Madness party. Cheesy, portable, comfort food with help from @CheezIt and @Target

 

5.0 from 2 reviews
Slam Dunk Fried Mac and Cheese Bites!
 
Easy, cheesy, portable comfort food. With just enough kick to make your taste buds do a little dance. Perfect bite size snacks for March Madness or any game day!
Author:
Recipe type: Comfort Food
Ingredients
  • 1 16 oz. box small elbow noodles - cooked and drained
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour + 1 Cup flour for breading
  • 1 Tablespoon mustard powder
  • 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 5 Cups whole milk
  • 2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 Cups cheddar Jack cheese
  • 8 oz. creamy havarti cheese - cut in chunks
  • 2 Cups crushed Cheez-It Hot & Spicy Grooves
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons water
Instructions
  1. Cook elbow noodles al dente according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. In the same pot used to cook the noodles, melt the butter on medium heat.
  3. Whisk in the 3 Tablespoons flour and spices. Cook for one minute, stirring constantly so it does not burn.
  4. Slowly whisk in the milk a cup at a time. Whisk constantly to remove any lumps.
  5. Bring the milk mixture to a steady simmer, stirring frequently. Simmer on medium heat for 4 - 7 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Make sure to continue to stir with your whisk to prevent scorching.
  6. Once the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, add in your cheese.
  7. Stir until everything has melted together.
  8. Fold in your cooked elbow noodles.
  9. Refrigerate your mac and cheese for at least one hour so it firms up a bit.
  10. Once your mac and cheese is firm, set up your dredging station. (3 separate bowls - 1 cup flour. 2 large eggs whisked with 2 Tablespoons water. 2 cups crushed Cheez-It Hot & Spicy Grooves)
  11. Using an ice cream scoop or a large Tablespoon, scoop out a spoonful of the chilled mac and cheese.
  12. Roll into a ball. Coat with flour, then egg mixture, then Cheez-It Hot & Spicy Grooves crumbs. Place on a baking sheet until you have assembled all of your Mac and Cheese bites.
  13. Using an electric fryer, or a deep skillet with just enough oil to cover the mac and cheese bites. Heat the oil to 350 degrees.
  14. Working in small batches, fry the mac and cheese bites evenly on all sides until golden brown. About 5 minutes.
  15. Remove to a paper towel to drain off the excess oil.
  16. Serve hot with warm marinara or cool creamy ranch dip.

Serve up these Slam Dunk Mac and Cheese Bites at your next March Madness party. Cheesy, portable, comfort food with help from @CheezIt and @Targetsignature2

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8 Comments

  1. Carolann March 9, 2016 Reply
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