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Chocolate Mud Bars

1 ¼ c. graham cracker crumbs
3 T. packed light brown sugar
¼ tsp. cinnamon
pinch of salt
5 T. unsalted butter, melted

½ c. unsalted butter
6 oz. semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
¾ c. sugar
2 lg. eggs, room temperature
½ tsp. vanilla
¼ c. cake flour
1 c. coarsely chopped walnuts

Butter a 9 in. square baking pan and set aside.

For Crust: Combine the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a med. bowl. Mix well with your hands. Add the melted butter, stir well with a fork, then rub the ingredients together with your fingers until thoroughly mixed. Press the mixture evenly in the prepared pan to form a level layer on the bottom with a lip extending about ¼ inch up the side of the pan. DO NOT BAKE CRUST.

For Filling: Combine the butter and chocolate in the top of a double boiler over not quite simmering water. When melted whisk to smooth. Then remove the pan room the heat, scrape the chocolate into a med. bowl and cook to lukewarm. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Whisk the sugar, eggs and vanilla into lukewarm chocolate. Stir in the cake flour mixing until smooth. Stir in the walnuts. Scrape the batter over crust and smooth with a spoon. Bake on the center oven rack for 35 mins. only - no longer. Cool on a rack. Refrigerate an hour or so before slicing. Serve at room temperature.
Makes 16 bars.

Sharon McDonald

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