Everyone goes crazy for these golden nuggets for good reason—the crisp exterior yields to rich, melted, cheesy goodness, quite possibly making them the ultimate indulgence. Little ones prefer them plain, but when I serve these to adventurous older kids and adults, I add some chopped jalapeno peppers and cooked bacon to ramp up the flavor.
Yield: About 16
Cook macaroni and cheese according to package directions.
While the mac and cheese is cooking prepare a white sauce. Melt butter in a medium-sized, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of flour and cook for 2 minutes. Slowly add half and half while whisking so the mixture is smooth and not lumpy. Cook for about 5 minutes, whisking occasionally, until the mixture is thickened. Stir in salt and set aside. When macaroni and cheese is finished cooking, and you’ve added the cheese packet and milk according to the package directions, stir in the white sauce and fold in the grated cheese. Pour mixture out onto a plate and place in the refrigerator until it’s completely cold. It will be sticky.
Place the flour in one bowl, the egg in another and the bread crumbs in a third bowl. Using damp hands, form the cold macaroni mixture into balls about the size of a walnut, making sure to pack them tightly to remove any air pockets. Roll each ball through the flour, dip in the egg, and roll through the bread crumbs.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. When all the balls are prepared, heat 2 inches of canola oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until it’s about 350-375 degrees. If you don’t have a thermometer, drop a 1 inch chunk of bread in the oil. If it simmers and begins to brown in about 60 seconds, the oil is ready. If the oil begins to smoke, turn down the heat. Fry the macaroni and cheese balls in the oil, turning occasionally so they brown evenly, for about 3-5 minutes or until they are golden brown. Place on a paper towel-lined baking sheet and keep warm in the oven as you fry the additional batches. Serve immediately, garnished with parmesan cheese.