As a kid, my body didn’t really do dairy all that well, and my doctor suggested I cut dairy from my diet completely. Five-year-old me learned this meant she couldn’t eat mac and cheese anymore. Tears ensued. Luckily, I was eventually able to reintroduce dairy into my diet and found that cheese no longer any problem. So in this blog series, I’m trying out wacky, kid-friendly recipes, hoping to give families with cheese-loving kids fun, easy, and delicious meals to make together as I search for dishes that adequately make up for my cheeseless childhood. Missed the last post on Mac and Cheese Tacos? Check it out!
As a mac and cheese enthusiast, I get pumped for mac and cheese in all of its possible forms. Mac and cheese sandwiches, deep fried mac and cheese bites, mac and cheese pizza, you name it—I’ll never say no to a new way to eat mac and cheese. So when the opportunity to make make and cheese waffles presented itself, I was so there. The only thing that comes close to mac and cheese level of goodness is breakfast. And chocolate. Which can apparently also be worked into mac and cheese, so stay tuned for that adventure.
I expected mac and cheese waffles to be my easiest and least risky recipe in this series. I was greatly mistaken.
You know what they say though, third time’s the charm! Kind of.
I feel like I have to take full blame for this disaster. For one thing,I used my roommate’s four dollar thrift store waffle maker. I also used boxed mac and cheese (Annie’s, specifically) and didn’t adequately follow Serious Eats’ recipe or my own “never too much cheese” advice and failed to stock up on shredded cheese to use in the center. It isn’t you, mac and cheese waffles, it’s me.
If you’ve always wanted to try the should-be-glorious mac and cheese waffles, don’t despair. I have faith that others can pull this off better than I could. I’m obviously no expert, but I do have some tips to help keep you from repeating my mistakes.
- Annie’s is great, but it’s probably best to avoid boxed mac and cheese for this one. I’d suggest stirring up some stovetop mac and cheese, since those tend to be gooier than boxed or baked mac and cheese.
- Don’t think you can get away with forgetting to buy shredded cheese for this waffle. You can’t. Get the shredded cheese for the uber-gooey center.
- Some recipes said to keep the mac and cheese in the fridge for half an hour, others said overnight. My first batch wasn’t nearly hardened after half an hour, but keeping it in overnight didn’t help the process at all. My best attempt was when I had the pasta in the fridge for about two hours. I had to cut it but was able to do so easily, and used a spatula to transfer it into the waffle maker.
- Give it some extra time to crisp. My four dollar thrift store waffle maker kept trying to tell me the waffles were ready, and the only time they somewhat help their shape was when I ignored thrift store waffle maker and kept the mac and cheese cooking.
Next week will be chocolate mac and cheese! I have no idea what to expect, but I can’t not try it.