Thursday, February 28, 2008

Mexican Chocolate Crunch Brownies

I've been super busy with work and all for the past few weeks so heading to the kitchen for relaxation has been COMPLETELY out of the question. I've been just going in there to sustain life..cereal, PB&J sandwiches, granola bars (I'll tell you about that in a another post), etc. But now I'm done with my board meeting weekend and I'm semi-back-to-'normal' (whatever that is...!!!). So I made these brownies that I had been eye'ing in my 'to make soon' pile but I had to go out and get the box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch because of course I don't have that as a staple in my pantry. All I'm going to say about these brownies is...I've found a new favorite!! O-M-G these are still the traditional brownie with a hint of cinnamon--full of rich chocolate flavor but that crust...MAN..that bottom crust made the whole brownie work. Thanks a million Val!

Mexican Chocolate Crunch Brownies
Adapted from Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest 43

1 box (12.8 oz) Cinnamon Toast Crunch® cereal (about 8 cups)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 Tbsp corn syrup
1 box (19.5 oz) Fudge Brownie Mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
2 eggs
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
3 Tbsp cinnamon-sugar*
Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch pan with No-Stick Cooking Spray. Place cereal in food processor bowl with metal blade (crush cereal in 2 batches if necessary). Cover; process until finely crushed (about 4 cups).
In large bowl, stir butter and corn syrup until well blended. Add crushed cereal; mix thoroughly. Press evenly in pan.
In large bowl, make brownie mix as directed on box, using oil, water and eggs and adding cinnamon. Stir in 2/3 cup of the chocolate chips. Pour brownie batter over cereal mixture. Sprinkle remaining 2/3 cup chocolate chips evenly over batter.
Bake 20 minutes. Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar evenly over brownies. Bake 14 to 18 minutes longer or until brownies are set when lightly touched in center. Cool 10 minutes; loosen edges but do not cut. Cool completely, about 2 hours.
For brownies, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows.
*3 tablespoons sugar mixed with 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon can be substituted for the cinnamon sugar.

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