McDonald's is trying out a staple of American childhoods: macaroni and cheese.

The burger chain began testing mac and cheese at 18 locations in Northeast Ohio late last week, according to spokeswoman Lisa McComb.

The four-ounce portion is available à la carte for $1.75 or as the entrée of a Happy Meal. McDonald's often tests products in selected markets, and sometimes the successes - like mozzarella sticks - are rolled out nationally.

McComb said it's too early to say whether mac and cheese could be coming to other markets.

Under the leadership of CEO Steve Easterbrook, McDonald's has shown a willingness to take risks, like the recent launch of all-day breakfast after years of consumer and stakeholder demand. But Easterbrook has also stressed the need to simplify menu offerings.

"As we look to simplify, it's not to say we'll never have anything new or different in our restaurants," McComb said. "But it needs to be easy for the crew, meet reasonable expectations for speedy service, and on top of the list is the customer feedback."

McComb said the mac and cheese is made with a blend of real cheese, as opposed to powdered cheese, but declined to specify which kinds of cheese.

McDonald's recently tested mozzarella sticks in New York and will make them available nationwide on Jan. 4.