I have been wracking my brain trying to figure out a Valentine’s Day dessert to share. I made these yummy cookies last year:
And they are sooooo goooood! In fact, looking at that photo makes me want to go and make them right now. I love a good iced sugar cookie, I do. HERE is that recipe.
I couldn’t come up with anything. Nothing spoke to me. I tried baking a batch of chocolate thumbprint cookies. They were good, but my family was not wowed. The recipes I share have to be fabulous! I was stumped.
But then I thought of this. This is what my family loves. This was swoon-worthy to them. Macaroni and cheese. I usually make this in a glass Pyrex dish (because I love Pyrex!! See HERE), but decided to make this my Valentine’s Day post because apparently this is what speaks love to my brood. Gibson helped put the cute paper cups into the tins….
The recipe makes enough for 12 muffin-size servings plus a small pan of mini-muffins as well. The mini-muffins were browned around the edges and held their shape – they could be popped right in your mouth in one bite. The bigger ones were more gooey and we ate them right out of the paper liners. Both ways were delicious! And there’s bacon. So that always makes Valentine’s Day better, right?
I served this with salmon and steamed broccoli. Everyone was happy (ok, lie. Gibson hates salmon. And broccoli. Oh, and the macaroni and cheese. Yes, I have one of those eaters. Drives me crazy, but I’m not giving up!). Everyone else loved it! Four out of five ain’t bad…..Happy Valentine’s Day!
- ½ pound dried macaroni
- 3 slices bacon, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced (or 1 teaspoon from pre-chopped garlic jar)
- 3 eggs
- 1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1½ cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
- ½ cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
- ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees (or 400 degrees if you are preparing these in muffin tins).
- Cook macaroni in salted and boiling water for 6-9 minutes (It will be a little undercooked). Drain.
- While macaroni is boiling,cook chopped bacon in a small skillet over medium heat. When the bacon is almost done, add the garlic (watch out, it can splatter) and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Transfer to a paper towel to drain. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and evaporated milk. Whisk in salt, cayenne pepper, and nutmeg. Gently mix in the cheeses. Add in the macaroni and bacon, stirring well to combine. Pour the mixture into a 2-quart baking dish (square or round) coated with cooking spray. Bake for 12 -14 minutes, or until the cheese sauce bubbles around the edges. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.
- *To make these into individual servings, ladle the mixture evenly into 12 greased regular muffin cups (with liners) and approximately 12 greased mini-muffin cups, distributing liquid evenly. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cheese sauce bubbles around the edges. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.
This recipe was adapted from a recipe called “Emeril’s Three-Cheese Baked Macaroni.”