Last December I got together with my wonderful friends Lauren, Sarah, Jenn and Colleen for a potluck lunch. We had so much fun that we decided to do it again this past Saturday. We chose Mexican for our lunch theme and I was put in charge of dessert. I have to admit I was at a bit of a loss, as there aren't a ton of Mexican desserts to choose from. I didn't want anything too heavy, as Mexican food is so heavy, and I also didn't want anything super complicated. I remembered that Anna of Cookie Madness had posted several Mexican cookies and brownies on her blog, so I ran over there for inspiration. It was there that I found this recipe for Mexican Chocolate Crunch Brownies.
They sounded yummy, plus I had all the ingredients on hand except for the cereal, so they were also convenient. These came together in no time and have a wonderful chocolate/cinnamon aroma. I have to admit, I wasn't sure what I thought of these at first. The crunchy cereal base kind of threw me off, but the more I tasted, the more they grew on me. The girls seemed to like them a bit more than I did, so they couldn't have been too bad. I loved the addition of cinnamon to the brownie batter and the cinnamon sugar topping. They were a nice ending to our wonderful Mexican feast!
As for that feast, we started off with awesome barbecue chicken quesadillas made by Jenn and delicious dip and guacamole from Colleen. For our main course, Lauren made us a Mexican taco bake and Sarah made Mexican rice. Everything was delicious! (I believe Sarah is going to post all the food from our lunch, so check out her blog for all the mouth-watering pics!) Thanks to Jenn for hosting and I can't wait to do it again!
Mexican Chocolate Crunch Brownies
1box (12.8 oz) Cinnamon Toast Crunch® cereal (about 8 cups)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1 box (19.5 oz) fudge brownie mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons cinnamon-sugar (from 3.62-oz jar)*
Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13x9-inch pan with 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). Or place cereal in large resealable food-storage plastic bag; crush with rolling pin. (I did it in a bowl with a potato masher!) 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.
*Three tablespoons sugar mixed with 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon can be substituted for the cinnamon sugar.