May 09, 2013

Mexican Chocolate Crunch Brownies

I have been a member of the Cooking Light Community for more years than I'd like to remember.  It is sometimes strange to think of a group of strangers as friends, but that is what we are - the same as my blogging friends.  We have shared successes and sorrows, received suggestions and support, and we have laughed until we cried.  I still remember the excitement when we found out that one of the long-time posters was a finalist in the Pillsbury Bake-off.  We could hardly wait to see her recipe and try it out.  The brownies were a huge success and I have been making them ever since, although I call them Val's Brownies.

With Cinco de Mayo fast approaching I pulled out my recipe for these brownies, but somehow did not get around to making them.  I think I was more disappointed than anyone else, so I knew I would have to remedy that this week.  Although, they are made with a box brownie mix, you could use your own recipe to top the crunchy base.  Over time I have eliminated one of the ingredients - corn syrup.  It was omitted the first time because I actually didn't have any, and then I found that it didn't affect the end result, and I have left it out ever since.

This is also one of those recipes that could be adapted into so many different variations:
* Additional cinnamon or add a spice such as chili, cayenne pepper, or cardamom
* Use different chips in the batter such as cinnamon, toffee, or butterscotch
* Add dulce de leche to the batter
* Add coconut or nuts to the crunchy base

Mexican Chocolate Crunch Brownies
(Printer Friendly Recipe)

  • 1 box (12.8 oz) Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal (about 8 cups)
  •  ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 box Fudge Brownie mix
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1⅓ cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  1. Heat oven to 350℉. 
  2. Spray 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray.
  3. In a small bowl mix together the sugar and cinnamon, and set aside until needed.
  4. Place cereal in food processor bowl with metal blade (do in 2 batches if necessary). Cover; process until finely crushed (or place cereal in large resealable food-storage plastic bag and crush with rolling pin).
  5. Add butter to food processor and pulse until well blended. Press evenly in pan.
  6. 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. 
  7. Sprinkle remaining 2/3 cup chocolate chips evenly over batter.
  8. Bake 20 minutes, then sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar evenly over brownies.
  9. Bake 14 to 18 minutes longer or until brownies are set when lightly touched in center. 
  10. Cool 10 minutes; loosen edges but do not cut. 
  11. Cool completely, about 2 hours.
Makes: 24 brownies
Recipe by Valerie Schucht via the Pillsbury 2008 Bake-Off® Contest.


  1. Oh my, don't these look good?? Love the idea of the Cinnamon Toast Crunch!! Much as I hate to admit it, I love that stuff. I haven't made a good brownie or bar in ages, I think the family is due.
    My husband was headed your way again, but his trip got changed. He was so excited to spend some time in the islands and is not so thrilled with the schedule change to Rockford, IL. Hope you are having beautiful weather as always and hoping you have a wonderful Mother's Day!

  2. My goodness they look SO good! I love the layers within it and I can imagine sinking my teeth into them! :)


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