I have two young children (3 and 4.5), who both love Kraft Macaroni And Cheese, or similar variants. As a child, I also loved it, and between the two I've made a few hundred batches, at least.
However, I don't know that I have found the optimal method for making the sauce at the end, despite all of that practice. I've at different times thought that each of the following was correct:
- Add the milk, then the powder, combine, then add softened butter
- Add the butter, mix thoroughly until melted, then the poweder, combine, then the milk
- Add some milk, then the powder, then some more milk, then some more milk, then softened or melted butter
- Remove the macaroni, just add butter to the warm pan (but not on the burner) until melted, add the powder, combine thoroughly, then the milk, then the macaroni (This is the "Annie's" box method)
Yet, I don't think ultimately it's ever really made a significant difference. You always end up with a sauce that's so-so at first, a bit grainy and liquidy, and only after it's sat for a while (10-15 minutes) does it end up perfect - which for a 3 or 4 year old is eternity when faced with their favorite dish.
Is there an optimal way to make Macaroni and Cheese box mix? If the ingredients need to be altered slightly, I'm fine with that, though it needs to stay close still to the original - no adding significant amounts of cheese or Velveeta.