1 cup cracker crumbs ( I use Pepperidge Farm Parmesan goldfish) 1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided 6 ounces elbow macaroni 2 ounces mascarpone or cream cheese 1 large egg 1/3 cup milk 2 tablespoons sour cream Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 12 cup standard-size muffin pan with butter or cooking spray.
In a bowl, combine the cracker crumbs and 1/4 cup of the shredded Cheddar. Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter; add it to the crumb mixture and stir to combine.
Spoon about a tablespoon of the crumb mixture into the bottom of each muffin cup. Pat the crumbs down with the back of a spoon or small glass. Set the pan aside.
Bring a saucepan of water to boil. Cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than the recommended cooking time. Drain the pasta and transfer it to a bowl. Add the remaining shredded Cheddar, the mascarpone, and remaining tablespoon of butter. Stir to blend the ingredients.
In a liquid measuring cup, combine the egg, milk, and sour cream; whisk to combine. Add the liquid mixture to the bowl with the pasta; season with salt and pepper. Stir to blend the ingredients.
Divide the macaroni mixture among the muffin cups with the cracker crumb crusts. Bake until lightly golden, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool in the muffin pan for 5-10 minutes. Carefully remove from the pan and serve warm.
These individual servings of macaroni and cheese are perfect for kids, parties, lunch boxes, snacks, or portion control (unless you eat more than one, which is very easy to do.) The cracker crumb crust helps to hold the muffins together and the macaroni and cheese is rich and creamy. Mini mac and cheese muffins can be assembled early and kept refrigerated until you are ready to bake them. You can also freeze the baked muffins and reheat them as needed.