How To: Mac & Cheese Pastry Bites

Hi Nibblers!

          For the life of me I don’t know why but, I have had the strongest craving for mac and cheese. Sure, I could of went out and bought myself a few quick fix at the supermarket. I kept on putting it off though, saying the craving would just blow over. But then, I was out with my friend Tree the other night and ordered a beef pie. I was hoping for an amazing pastry encased classic meat pie or at least a pot pie with pastry covered to the brim but was instead given a large rectangular dish of gravy meat and a small rectangle of puff pastry that didn’t cover half the dish. Don’t get me wrong, it was beautifully presented but it just didn’t hit that pie spot. My dilemma had now extended itself to cravings for puff pastry and mac and cheese. So naturally, I combined the two and made myself a few servings of heaven.

How To: Mac & Cheese Pastry Bites
Makes approx. 90 Pastry BitesIMG_2569
What you’ll need:
125g of shredded cheese (I used cheddar)
– 90g finely diced bacon (short cut) – optional
– 1/2 cup finely chopped spring onions – optional
– 1 Tbs. olive oil – for frying bacon / spring onions
– 270g macaroni
– 2 Tbs. all purpose flour
– 260mL of milk
– 25g butter
– salt and pepper to taste
– 10 puff pastry sheets (I like Borg’s Puff pastry)
– 3 eggs ( for egg wash – roughly one egg for every 36 pastries)

How To:IMG_2562
1. Cook macaroni as per directed on package until al dente then set aside
2. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celcius or 395 degrees Farenheit
3. Line tray with baking paper then set aside
4. In a medium saucepan on a medium to low heat fry bacon and spring onions with olive oil for approximately 3 minutes or until lightly brown then pop into a seperate bowl until later useIMG_2563
5. Melt butter in same saucepan as fried bacon/spring onions on a medium heat
6. Add flour and whisk for about one minute to cook off flour
7. Slowly add milk and continuously stir to omit any potential lumps until all incorporated
8. Leave on the heat until lightly simmering and sauce has thickened then remove from heat
9. Add shredded cheese to saucepan and stir until melted
10. Add bacon/ spring onions and stir
11. Add cooked macaroni then mix well then season with salt/ and pepper to taste remembering to mix the contentsIMG_2565
12. Divide puff pastry sheets into roughly 9 equal squares
13. Place roughly 1 heaped tsp. of Mac & Cheese filling into centre of square
14. Fold opposite corners of pastry to form a triangular shape then firmly press puff pastry edges together ensuring no gaps appear then set on baking tray
15. Repeat steps 14 until all puff pastry sheets are used
Note: Once a baking tray has been filled, feel free to pop a tray into the oven while you assemble the other bitesIMG_2568
Once assembled, pastry bites can be refrozen (for up to a month) and baked at a later date without thawing – they will only need to be egg washed prior to baking – just remember to cling film or placed them in an airtight environment to stop pastry from drying in the freezer
16. Beat required amount of eggs in a bowl (depends on how many you would like to bake on the day – 1 egg = 36 pastries) then lightly brush over assembled pastries
17. Pop into the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown then leave to cool before consuming!

IMG_2574
This recipe does require a bit of effort but such a fun recipe if you’re having two cravings at once or just want to have a nice bonding session with friends. You can make the pastry in any shape you like and I love that you can freeze them and bake them without thawing to enjoy at a later date! It’s great to do in advanced and especially when those spontaneous road trips arise and you need some snacks for the car. Hope you enjoyed this recipe as much as I did and be sure to comment below if you just recently satisfied a craving or other food requests!

Nibble Away,

             Jo

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