This is a true comfort food that has all the cheesiness of regular macaroni and cheese but is made in a muffin tin!
Fill large pot or dutch oven with water and add first portion of salt.
Bring water to a boil and add macaroni. Reduce to medium heat. Cook until pasta is al dente or just cooked but still firm. 3 to 5 minutes. Once it is cooked to your desired consistency, remove from heat and strain out all of the water and return the pasta to the pot.
While your macaroni is cooking, melt your butter in a medium sauce pan and add your flour. Cook for a couple of minutes. While it is cooking, measure out your milk and microwave it for 1 to 2 minutes.
Once your milk is hot, gradually add it to the roux you made in the previous step. Once you have added all of the milk, add the salt and the cayenne and cook for a few more minutes before adding the shredded cheese. I like to use extra old cheddar for a stronger flavour mixed with applewood smoked cheddar and a regular orange cheddar for the top.
Melt the cheese into the sauce. Once the cheese sauce is done, thoroughly mix the cheese sauce with the pasta in the pot.
Once you have mixed together the pasta and the cheese sauce, portion it equally into a 12 portion greased muffin tin.
Add a slice of tomato to each muffin if desired. Top with a bit more shredded cheese, a dash of salt and some panko crumbs.
Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. If necessary, broil at the end to toast up the bread crumbs. After removing the muffin tin from the oven, let cool for a few minutes so that the muffins stay together when you remove them from the tin.