1largered bell peppercored, seeded, and cut into tiny hearts
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease three mini-muffin pans with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
Remove the core and seeds from a red bell pepper. Lay it flat on a cutting board and cut out mini hearts with a tiny cutter. Set aside until ready to use.
Cook the macaroni according to the package instructions. While your pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a large pan. Add the flour and whisk together to create a roux that will thicken the cheese sauce. Simmer for 1.5 to 2 minutes to cook out the flour taste.
Pour in the milk and whisk to combine. Add the salt, pepper, onion powder, mustard powder, and paprika, stir to combine. Heat mixture over medium heat until it thickens and starts to simmer, about 6 or 7 minutes.
Add 6 drops of Electric Green Gel Coloring and 1 drop of Forest Green Gel Coloring. Stir to combine. Remove from heat and add the grated cheese. Stir until all of the cheese is melted.
Drain the macaroni and add to the cheese sauce. Stir to thoroughly coat the pasta. Scoop 2 tablespoons of mac and cheese into each cavity of the prepared pans.
Sprinkle a few pieces of cheddar on top of each mac and cheese bite, and place once bell pepper heart in the center.
Place in the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and the bites start to brown, about 13 to 15 minutes. Let the mac and cheese bites cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing.
Serve while hot or at room temperature.
For lactose - free, use sharp cheddar cheese that has been aged for over 90 days and lactose-free milk or unsweetened almond milk.
For vegan, substitute vegan cheese (one that melts well) and vegan milk.
For gluten-free, substitute your choice of gluten-free macaroni.
Do not use packaged, pre-shredded cheese. It contains stabilizers that will turn your mac and cheese into a gooey glob.
Use a block of cheese and grate it yourself for the best results.
This recipe makes 36 bites, 48 smaller 1 to 1.5 tablespoon bites (you will need 4 pans), or one 13 x 9 pan of mac and cheese.