Brownie Doctor: Cocoa Puff Brownies

Remember that time I made cupcakes out of Lucky Charms? And it was kind of weird but also charming in a kooky kind of way? Well, I'm at it again, turning breakfast cereals into baked goods. This time, it's Cocoa Puffs. And, yes, it is fittingly cuckoo.

I wanted these brownies to literally mimic a bowl of cereal. Only, you know, in brownie form. So we have a basic chocolate chip brownie, to which I added a 1/2 cup of Ovaltine powder, because for some reason Cocoa Puffs scream "MALT-Y" to me. (Ok, so maybe these aren't exactly like a bowl of cereal. Unless you add Ovaltine to your cereal milk, in which case YOU ARE GENIUS OMG.) You frost them with an ooey-gooey meringue frosting (kind of like milk?), then top with a generous amount of Cocoa Puffs.

Have you made meringue frosting before? I hadn't. It's super easy! And you get to whip egg whites, which is always fun. It makes me feel like I'm doing science, the way they magically transform from clear liquid into big frothy white fluff. Like a giant marshmallow. Amazing.

As yummy as the frosting is, I did have some trouble with it keeping its freshness. Day One, it was excellent. Gooey, sticky, marshmallowy. Day Two, it had started to harden and get crumbly. By Day Three, it had pretty much ossified. Troubled, I turned to Google for answers. How should you store meringue frosting?  

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Turns out refrigerating is a good idea, as is storing it in an airtight container. Guess my tinfoil-covered brownie pan resting by an open window was never going to cut it. Which is a shame. But at least now I've saved you from making the same mistake! You'll still be enjoying marshmallowy meringue frosting on Day Seven. That is, if the brownies last that long ;)

Happy munching!

- Molly

Cocoa Puff Brownies

Ingredients:

1 box brownie mix

1/2 cup Ovaltine (or other malt powder)

1 recipe Meringue Frosting (below)

Cocoa Puffs

Instructions:

Mix and brownies according to box instructions. While brownies are cooling, make meringue frosting. When brownies are completely cool, frost then cover with a layer of cocoa puffs. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Enjoy!

Meringue Frosting

3 large egg whites

1¼ cup sugar

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp corn syrup

2 tsp vanilla

Combine the egg whites, sugar, salt and corn syrup in the top of a double boiler or in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Using a handheld mixer, whip the whites over the simmering water until the whites are warm, the sugar is fully absorbed and the mixture gets thick, almost like marshmallow fluff.

Take the whites off of the heat and add the vanilla. Whip again until the vanilla has been fully incorporated.