"Baking" for Bastrop
Remember last April when I made Cherry Almond Butter Brownies for the citywide Austin Bake Sale for Japan? Well, Kathryn is at it again. This time Austin Bakes is working to raise money for the community of Bastrop, which has suffered intense destruction from the wildfires that hit Texas this summer.
When Kathryn asked me to donate not only a baked good to the Austin Bakes for Bastrop bake sale this Saturday (October 1, 2011) event, but also to spread the word about it on my blog, I immediately jumped* at the chance.
*Figuratively speaking. I’m pretty sure I was sitting cross-legged on the floor in front of my computer, which would have made jumping a little tricky.
Jumped up^ and made some of my famous White Chocolate Cinna-Mini Crunch, that is.
^After a little time had passed.OK. So it’s not famous yet. But maybe after this post it will be. I’ve made it exactly once before, and I’ve thought about it for the past 17 months repeatedly.* Probably the only reason I’ve never made it again is because I’m scared that I will demolish the entire batch in an altogether-to-fast amount of time, the way that we used to plow through the Puppy Chow^ upon which it is loosely based in college.
*Not a joke. It’s seriously that good.
^If you ever refer to that peanut butter and chocolate covered treat as Muddy Buddies, we may no longer be friends. Especially if you also add extra butter to it. Really? Is that necessary, Chex corporation?
Instead of Chex (we always preferred Rice Chex in for our Puppy Chow), White Chocolate Cinna-mini Crunch starts with Cinnamon Toast Crunch (or it’s generic equivalent). So already you know you’re in for something good.You’ll need 8 cups* of cinnamon square cereal, leaving you with just enough left over for breakfast.
*You could use the whole box. But then you wouldn’t have any left over for breakfast.Next, dump out an entire bag of white chocolate baking chips into a microwave-safe bowl.
Now, white chocolate is notoriously difficult to melt in the microwave,* so listen carefully young chickadees: 1 minute; stir. 30 seconds more; remove from microwave. Stir until completely melted.*Maybe just for me.
Whether or not you lick the spoon is up to you.
During the first minute in the microwave, you’ll want to prepare your “sugar shaker.” In college, we had a special tub called “The Puppy Chow Container” that I used every time.* Now, I use giant-sized zip-top^ bags.*Until an unfortunate run-in with some gazpacho left us with garlic-tainted Puppy Chow during Beach Week 2K7.^That’s the generic way of saying ‘Zip-Loc.’ As though I had just said ‘facial tissue’ instead of ‘Kleenex.’
To tell the truth, I never really measure out my powdered sugar. Everyone has their own ideas of how much should be used, but your basic goal is to have just enough so that there is a trail of powdered sugar left on your shirt when you are finished eating…but not so much that people suspect you of doing illicit drugs. [I start with about 2-3 cups, and I always have too much. Remember: you can always add more.]
I like to add a little extra cinnamon to the sugar…why not? I believe it adds a little something, even if it doesn’t*–especially considering the cereal itself is already covered in both cinnamon AND sugar. [No wonder this is so good!!!!]
*Yet another one of the make-believe ideas I wander this world holding on to. Just let me be.
Now that the “sugar shaker” contraption is prepared, and the chocolate is melted, it’s time to coat the crunch!
* Don’t worry if you get a little chocolate on your fingers when your scooping it onto the cereal..*Almost like making the Dunkin’ Donuts, but at any time of day, not just first thing in the morning.
…because y’all KNOW the easiest way to get that crunch coated is to use your hands.
My sorority sisters and I actually used to eat this off our (and occasionally each others) hands in college…but I’m not trying to set up an adult film here, so I’ll just let it go at that.
Once everything seems pretty well coated (make sure to check for hidden patches of cereal lingering underneath!), it’s time to move everything into your “sugar shaker.”
Normally, I’d use my hands, but as I washed them to take a photograph of the process…
…well, I decided to be dignified and scoop with a spoon.
If you missed the opportunity to munch while your hands were covered with this scrumptiousness, never fear:
Anything that doesn’t make it from bowl to bag is open for snacking!After you’ve had a snack, it’s time to shake!
This is when you say a silent prayer that you remembered to seal the bag tightly. And that there are no holes in the bottom.
I’m not saying you have to dance while you shake. But since you’re already shaking, you might as well rattle and roll, too….right?
And that’s it! You’re done. And I don’t just mean you are finished making a superbly tasty (and easy to create) treat. Nope, you’re done for…because this stuff is addicting with a capital C-R-A-C-K.**There’s a reason we referred to Puppy Chow this way. And it’s NOT because of the powdered sugar remnants left behind.
Good thing I had to package it all up for the Austin Bakes for Bastrop
sale this weekend. I might not have actually “baked,” but you’re going to want to go by the sale location* at Whole Foods Downtown anyway…because that’s where it will be sold.^
*For other locations, visit the website.^Between 10 and 2. Saturday, October 2.
It sure is simple…but it’s also been referred to as “the best thing I’ve ever eaten.”*
*And not just by me. 😉
Try to get a box with extra “chunks” in it. Those are the best part.